Responsible Pet Ownership

Pets can be a rewarding addition to any family, but they come with responsibilities. Courtesy and respect are part of being a good neighbor and also a necessity when it comes to pet ownership. Abiding by leash laws and cleaning up animal waste are some of the courtesies that residents should provide. Another is making sure that pets don't disturb the peace by barking or howling at inappropriate times.

The following is some basic information that every resident should know about pet ownership in the City of Chandler:

  • Enforcement of most laws and ordinances involving cats and dogs is the responsibility of Maricopa County Rabies and Animal Control.
  • Dogs four months and older must be vaccinated against rabies and licensed annually as proof of rabies vaccination.
  • Dogs may not be loose unless they are being used for livestock control or hunting.
  • Dogs outside of the residence must be in a suitable enclosure or confined on a leash no longer than six feet in length.
  • It is unlawful for dog owners to harbor a dog that barks or howls on a consistent basis and disturbs the peace of neighbors.
  • Cats are considered "free roaming" animals by law, which makes responsible pet ownership even more important.

Stray Cats

With cats, as is the case for dogs, the City of Chandler adheres to those animal control laws adopted by Maricopa County. There are no leash or license laws for cats and no agency picks up stray or feral cats. This means the City doesn't have as many options to control them as they do other animals.

This does not mean cat owners cannot be held civilly liable for damages caused by their cats, but this would be a civil matter. If you are experiencing problems with cats roaming on your property, the City recommends talking to the pet owner first in order to resolve the problem with minimal conflict.

If speaking with the pet owner does not resolve the situation, there are several deterrents you can try to discourage cats from entering your yard. Download more information.

NOTE: Attempts to deal with roaming cats by catching and euthanizing them have proven ineffective, according to Maricopa Animal Care & Control. If feral cats are simply removed from an area, others will take their place and the problem repeats itself.

The Humane Society states that citizens may use recognized, humane traps, baited with plenty of food and water and located in a shaded area, to trap roaming cats. Trapped cats can be taken to the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelter at 2630 W. 8th Street in Mesa, or the Arizona Humane Society located at 13th Avenue and Hatcher in Phoenix. Fees determined by the shelter are typically involved.

There are animal welfare groups that sponsor programs to help control the population of feral cats. The cats are sterilized so they won't reproduce, then they continue living outdoors. These groups are well versed on where to get traps, how to use them, where to take the cats for sterilization, and what to do afterward.

Important Resources