Victims' Rights

MCACC takes reports of dog bites in our community very seriously; the safety of our community and its pets is our top priority. If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog in Maricopa County, please read through all the information on this page.

If you live in any of the following cities or towns, please contact your local Police Department for assistance:

AvondaleEl MirageGlendale

Once a dog bite report is received, our Field Officers begin the investigation, issue citation(s) when appropriate, and inform the dog owner(s) of the quarantine requirements. If citations are issued, the responsible party will be scheduled to appear in court to determine the outcome.

Bite Investigation Process
  1. Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Your Rights as a Victim
  3. Victim Services

What is Considered a Dog Bite?

A dog bite is defined as an injury where the dog's teeth have broken skin on a person. If the dog's teeth have not broken the skin, then it is an attack with or without injury to the person. If your pet has been bitten or injured by another dog, it is an attack with or without injury to the animal. 

When Should I Report a Dog Bite to MCACC?

Whenever a dog has bitten someone or attacked a human or animal in Maricopa County, a report should be made. To file a report online, use the bite or attack on a person form or an attack on an animal form. You may also call 602-506-7387 to initiate a report over the phone.

How is a Dog Bite or Attack Report Investigated?

Once initiated, MCACC Field Officers begin the investigation by interviewing the bite/attack victim, any witnesses, and the dog owner (if known) to try to get a full picture of what happened. Information the Field Officer attempts to collect may include all parties’ contact information, witness testimony, photo/video evidence of the reported attack and/or injuries, etc. If the dog has bitten a human while the dog is at-large (not on a leash or confined by a fence), the Field Officer will determine if there are sufficient grounds for a dog at-large violation. If the dog was not at-large at the time of bite, then the Field Officer's role is to advise quarantine to the dog owner.

Will the Dog be Quarantined?

Yes, per state statute, the dog must be quarantined for a period of ten (10) days starting from the date of the bite to a person. Please note, quarantine is not a punishment - this quarantine time is needed for observation of the dog (or cat) to ensure it does not have rabies.

How Will the Dog be Quarantined?

Where the dog will be quarantined is at the discretion of the Field Officer; there are generally two options:

  • Home Quarantine - If the dog is licensed, has a current rabies vaccination, and can be safely confined within the owner's property, the dog may qualify to spend the observation period at home.
  • Off-site Quarantine - If it is determined the dog needs to be quarantined outside of the home, the dog may be required to spend the observation period at MCACC or the owner may request the quarantine at an approved veterinarian's hospital, with any associated costs covered by the dog owner.

After the 10-day quarantine period, if the dog is not showing signs of illness, it will receive a vaccination (if necessary) and be released to the owner. The bite victim will be notified by mail that the dog did not have rabies.

What are the Fees/Fines Associated with This?

If any of the dogs involved are found to be unlicensed and at-large, the dog owners may receive a citation and be advised to license their dog(s). See the Dog License webpage for more information, including licensing fees. Quarantining at the shelter or veterinary office will also incur charges for the care and boarding of the animal during their 10-day stay.