Animal Control Ordinances with Leash Laws
The City of Mesa does not have leash or license laws for cats.
There is not an agency that will pick up loose/roaming cats. Trapped cats can be taken to the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelter at
2630 W. Rio Salado Pkwy in Mesa
or the Arizona Humane Society in Phoenix; fees are involved and determined by the shelter.
Can my dog run loose?
No, it is unlawful to allow your dog to run loose. All dogs must be leashed and kept under control when not properly contained. It is also unsafe for the dog as it could get hit by a car,
become lost or stolen, or get in a fight with another dog. Violators may receive a notice, written warning or citation, which is a class one misdemeanor with a maximum $2500 fine, 6 months in jail, or both. (See
Mesa City Code 6-4-7
, Dog at Large).
Can my cat run loose?
There are no leash laws regarding cats. They are allowed to roam, but be aware they may face dangers if allowed to run free. They may get taken by a coyote, hit by a car, be poisoned either intentionally or unintentionally, be trapped, or be exposed to harmful diseases such as feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency, or rabies. The life expectancy of an indoor cat is three times that of an outdoor cat.
Should my dog be licensed?
Yes. All dogs in Maricopa County are to be properly vaccinated for rabies and licensed. The vaccination may be good for one or three years, but the license must be renewed every year through Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (See
Mesa City Code 6-4-3A
Is there a limit on the number of dogs and cats I can have?
No. There are no number restrictions for dogs or cats. There cannot be violations pertaining to noise, cleanliness, animals at large, operating a business, etc.
Can I have a pig in Mesa?
Pigs are allowed only if kept by a student participating in an approved agricultural education program such as FFA or 4-H. Miniature pigs, kept as personal pets, are limited to no more than two such pigs on one land parcel. (See Mesa City Code 8-6-21K
Are chickens allowed in Mesa? How about roosters?
You may have up to 10 chickens on the first one-half acre or less provided any enclosure is at least 40 feet from any neighboring residence, any coop is at least 75 feet from any other residence, it is kept sanitary and they are not allowed to run loose or create a noise disturbance. A rooster is also allowed as long as it does not violate any of the above regulations. (See
Mesa City Code 8-6-21A, G, H and I
How many horses can I have?
You must have 35,000 sq. ft. of land in order to have livestock. The number of livestock allowed will be based on animal points and land points. (See
Mesa City Code 8-6-21B
Can I ride my horse in the street?
Yes. A horse is considered a method of transportation and should be ridden in the street or on designated trails. All traffic laws must be obeyed.
What is livestock?
Animals such as horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs, donkeys, and mules are livestock. Mesa also considers buffalo, llamas, and large flightless birds such as emus, ostriches, rheas, and cassowaries as livestock. (Mesa City Code 8-6-21
What is a Feral Cat?
Feral cats are domestic cats that have not been socialized to people. When left to themselves, they continue to reproduce kittens that are only socialized to other cats and are afraid of people. In recent years many tame cats have been abandoned and have joined colonies of feral cats.
What is TNR?
Trap, Neuter and Return programs assist “feral cats” and other street cats, even semi-tame cats that were once cared for by a person/family, but who now live in a cat colony.
If you are feeding free-roaming, wild or feral cats you cannot catch, help is available. The Spay and Neuter Hotline (SNH) has a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program for feral cats. TNR is the most humane and effective method for stabilizing the feral cat population. Cats are humanely trapped, spayed and neutered, ear-tipped and returned. Weekly clinics are held all throughout the Valley.
Free-roaming, primarily feral, cats are humanely trapped. This process is performed by those requesting participation in the TNR Program or volunteers assisting those who qualify for “trapping assistance”. The traps used are humane, “TruCatch box traps.”
The cats are spayed or neutered by a veterinarian. This involves an ovo-hysterectomy for female cats- surgical removal of ovaries and the uterus and castration- removal of the testicles for male cats. These surgeries are sometimes called “fixing” your cat.
The left ear is “tipped” to identify the cat as fixed. This procedure is performed while the cat is under anesthesia at the veterinary clinic. This is a universal identifier of a sterilized homeless/street/feral cat.
The cats are returned to their original colonies’ location where caregivers may continue to provide food and water.
What are the benefits of TNR?
- Ends the breeding cycle and stabilizes the population
- More effective and less expensive than extermination
- Eliminates or minimizes annoying behaviors such as spraying, yowling, and fighting
- Helps end the suffering of unwanted, homeless cats
- Reduces euthanasia due to the number of kittens flooding the already overburdened shelters.
To sign up for the TNR program please contact the Spay Neuter Hotline
at 602-265-7729 (SPAY) or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on feral cats visit The Foundation for Homeless Cats at www.thefoundationforhomelesscats.org
What do we do about dead animals?
The city contracts with an independent contractor to pick up dead animals found on the street. Residents whose pet dies can also request a pickup at no charge. The animals must be bagged or boxed, placed at the curb, and weigh less than 150 pounds. This service is provided from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, not including holidays.
What should be done if someone gets bitten by an animal?
Bite reports are required by law for all dogs, cats, and mammals such as ferrets, cows, horses, skunks, bats, etc. due to the concern for rabies, a fatal disease. Bite reports are not necessary for rodent or rabbit bites. A report will be taken and the animal is quarantined. If the animal is properly vaccinated for rabies, a home quarantine will most likely be allowed. If the animal is not properly vaccinated for rabies or it was running loose at the time of the bite, it will need to be quarantined at either the County Shelter or a veterinarian at the owner's expense. At the end of the quarantine period, the health of the animal and victim will be checked. It is recommended that you consult your doctor as animal bites often cause severe infection due to bacteria. (See Mesa City Code 6-4-9)
What should I do if I lose my dog or cat?
Go to the shelter at 2630 W. Rio Salado Pkwy
in Mesa and see if it has been impounded by Mesa Animal Control or taken there by a resident. You will be responsible for any fees that may occur. It is important that your dog be licensed so if it is taken to the shelter, they have a way to contact you. It is also good to microchip your animals.
What should I do if I find a snake?
Keep animals and everyone away from it as it may be poisonous. Call 480-644-2268 and an Animal Control Officer will come out and remove the snake. If possible, native snakes are released in a more suitable location.
What should I do if I suspect animal abuse?
Call Mesa Animal Control, 480-644-2268, with the information. An Animal Control Officer will investigate and take appropriate action.
What if I see an animal locked in a hot car?
This is an extremely dangerous situation for the animal as the inside temperature can exceed 120 degrees in a very short time. Get as much information about the vehicle, specific location, condition of the animal, etc. and call Mesa Animal Control at 480-644-2268.
Where do dogs/cats go when they are impounded?
All dogs and cats impounded by the Mesa Animal Control are taken to the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelter at 2630 W. Rio Salado Pkwy
in Mesa. Occasionally an animal is severely injured so the officer may take it to an emergency veterinarian. You should call the Mesa Animal Control office to check if it went to a vet.
What if my neighbor doesn't clean up after his dogs?
A person must clean up animal feces and not allow their property to be offensive to sight or smell. Call Mesa Animal Control at 480-644-2268 to report violations. (See Mesa City Code 8-6-28)
How do I adopt a pet?
Many wonderful animals are available for adoption at the County Shelter, 2630 W. Rio Salado Pkwy
in Mesa. Bring one home today!