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Arizona dog bite laws: What's a dog at large?

Most states have some kind of a leash law that applies to canine pets. In other words, the owners of dogs are required to keep their animals restrained to prevent them from attacking unsuspecting victims.

Imagine you went for a run in your neighborhood one Saturday morning. However, you didn't make it back home because an unleashed dog -- in other words, a "dog at large" -- chased you down and attacked you. As a result of your injuries, you spent the day in the hospital receiving stitches across your leg and arms for dog bite wounds.

If you experienced a situation like this, the dog owner may be financially liable.

Arizona's "Dog at Large" law

In the state of Arizona, dog leash laws use a specific kind of phrasing to describe an untethered canine that refers to such animals as "dogs at large." Under the law, a court will consider a dog at large if the owner has failed to confine and/or restrain it by a leash. The owners of dogs at large will be automatically liable for the costs and damages associated with attacks made by their dogs.

This is not to say that the owners of leashed animals will be free of liability. It's just that the case will require more investigation, arguments and consideration than if the dog owner failed to restrain his or her animal.

Even if a dog at large does not attack anyone, and even if it's wearing a collar, law enforcement can cite the dog owner for failing to restrain the animal. Leashes cannot exceed 6 feet in length. Owners who violate the dog at large law will face fines of a maximum of $250.

Dog owners must take financial responsibility

When a dog bite plaintiff pursues a personal injury lawsuit against the owner the animal that attacked, the plaintiff may be able to receive -- if the case is successfully navigated -- compensation for the costs of medical care resulting from the attack. Victims can also seek money to pay for lost income from being unable to work, compensation for disfiguring wounds, compensation for pain and suffering and more.

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