The Grand Canyon State

Arizona, also known as, “The Grand Canyon State” or “The Sunset State,” has quite a story to tell when it comes to BSL (Breed Specific Legislation).

Unfortunately, like most states, Arizona once adopted Breed Specific Legislation in some counties.

However, on May 16, 2016, governor Doug Ducey signed the Senate Bill 1248 which allowed preemption laws.

Arizona became the 20th state to ban breed specific legislation.

In Senate Bill 1248, Arizona cities or towns may regulate the control of dogs if the regulation is not specific to any breed.

Which is great news for pitbull owners!

Although these laws aid specific breeds from discrimination, many Arizonans seem to believe that this law has created another issue and here’s why;


"The regulation of pet dealers is a matter of statewide concern.  A city, town or county may enact or enforce an ordinance to enforce section 44‑1799.10 against a pet store or pet dealer.  Any local law, rule, regulation or ordinance that imposes requirements on pet dealers that exceed the requirements of section 44‑1799.10 or penalties prescribed by section 44‑1799.08 is preempted.  Any local law, rule, regulation or ordinance may not directly or indirectly prohibit or be applied to prohibit the sale of dogs or cats by a pet store or pet dealer, expressly or in effect, based on the source from which the animal is obtained if obtained in compliance with section 44‑1799.10.END_STATUTE"

Before these changes, pet stores could only sell a rescued animal. Now the bill has opened opportunities for puppy mills and pet stores to sell only the popular dogs that make the most money, compared to selling any random animal that needs a new home.  

Therefore, this has many people convinced that pet stores are encouraging overbreeding, and inhuman treatment of popular dogs because of high consumer demands and profit. 

Despite the concerns, there may be hope on the horizon for solutions, as Arizona board of regents were also mentioned in the bill to possibly research the ethical business practice of these pet shops and puppy mills.  


Arizona board of regents

The committee shall:

"Study the breeding of pets by licensed and unlicensed breeders in this state and other states. Review data regarding the protection of pets, consumers, pet dealers and pet breeders from existing regulatory models in this state and other states.  Study options to encourage spay or neuter clinics, adoption of dogs or cats and healthy breeding of dogs and cats." 


We can’t deny that Arizona made an effort to change BSL in their communities, and we hope that many other states will get on board to do the same!



Below are some current BSL sections and pieces of ordinances in the state of Arizona:




 Arizona Revised Statutes; amending title 44, chapter 11, article 17, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding sections 44‑1799.10 and 44‑1799.11; relating to animal and pet store regulation.

 Sections 9‑499.04, 11‑1005 and 44-1799.08


A city or town may regulate the control of dogs if the regulation is not specific to any breed.


 Contract with any city or town to enforce the provisions of any ordinance enacted by such city or town for the control of dogs if the provisions are not specific to any breed

Apache Junction

Section: 6-1-2

Laws about wolf-dog hybrids

Huachuca City

Section: 6.35.020

Laws about wolf-dog hybrids

Navajo County

Section: 2.1.1

Laws about wolf-dog hybrids


Section: 90.17

Laws about wolf-dog hybrids


Section: 4-25

Laws about wolf-dog hybrids



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Animal Law. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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Arizona State Legislature. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Dogbite. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Legal Scan. (n.d.). Retrieved from


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