2021 Legislative Session

New Law Protects Pets of Deceased Owners

After Matthew Meisner was tragically murdered last year, his family couldn’t access his apartment for days to rescue his cats Skitty, Hunter, and QT due to state law. Fortunately, Missy Pruitt and other friends were able to save and adopt all the cats.

Matt’s cousin, Meg Epstein worked with Rep Shawnna Bolick to pass “Matthew’s Law” (HB2507) to make sure this never happens to other families and animals. Humane Voters of AZ and Animal Defense League of Arizona helped in a supporting role to pass HB2507, thanks largely to Senator Victoria Steele. Also thanks to Senator Sean Bowie, Representative Amish Shah, Bri Brown, Jake Hinman, Governor Doug Ducey and others for their efforts on this lifesaving new law. HVA was honored to help the effort and attend the bill signing ceremony.

Call to Stop Bill to Toss out Citizen Initiatives

Ask your two representatives to oppose SCR1034! SCR1034 (voter protection act; court determinations) refers to the ballot a measure to allow the Legislature to amend, supersede or appropriate or divert funds created by an initiative or referendum measure approved by the voters if the measure is found to contain any illegal or unconstitutional language by the Arizona or US Supreme Court. This would allow the legislature to throw out an entire measure, even if a small part was successfully challenged and would blow a big hole in the Voter Protection Act. Read the press release on SCR1034.

Last Chance to Stop Bills Targeting Citizen Initiatives

There are several bills moving through the Arizona Legislature aimed at weakening or dismantling our citizen initiative process. These measures are close to floor votes, so please take action now!

Stop CAFO Protection Bill

🚨URGENT! Help Stop CAFO Protection Bill! 🚨 Please call your Arizona State Legislators now and ask them to Vote NO on SB1448, which protects concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) at the expense of rural residents, animals, and communities! TAKE ACTION!

Bill to Ban Convicted Animal Abusers from Owning Pets Passes Legislature

Thanks to a new law sponsored by Rep John Kavanagh, convicted animal abusers will be prohibited from owning pets for specified time periods. Until this bill (HB2483) passed, Arizona has had no mandatory requirements for keeping convicted animal abusers from owning pets, which is the most effective way to ensure that a convicted animal abuser does not reoffend. The new law also directs courts to require the convicted abusers to complete a psychiatric examination and any necessary mental health treatment before their right to possess a pet is restored. Thanks to Debra Nolen with Don’t Leave Me for initiating the bill, and to Animal Defense League of Arizona and Humane Voters of AZ volunteers for their help. Read KOLD News article on bill.

Stop Legislature’s Attack on Citizen Initiatives

There are several bills moving through the Arizona Legislature aimed at dismantling citizen initiatives – our most important tool for protecting animals. All of these measures are close to floor votes, so please contact your legislators today! ACT NOW!

Legislature Passes Bill to Rescue Pets of Deceased Owners

A measure to allow landlords to save a tenant’s pet in the event of their death or incapacitation was passed and signed into law. House Bill 2507, “Matthew’s Law,” was introduced by Rep Shannon Bolick at the request of Meagan Epstein in response to her cousin Matthew Meisner’s murder last year. His four cats were locked in his apartment without food and water because they were considered personal property under Arizona law. Meagan was finally able to rescue them, and made it her mission to change the law. Read the Arizona Republic article on the bill.

Act Now to Stop Right to Harm Bills

Your help is needed to stop the Right to Harm bills in the Arizona Legislature. HB2372 and SB1224 would prevent citizens from taking action against agricultural operations with large numbers of confined animals. Lawmakers could vote on these bills at any time, so TAKE ACTION NOW!

2020 Legislative Session

Update: Act Now to Stop Bills Damaging to Animals!

There are several bills moving through the Arizona Legislature that would negatively impact wildlife, domestic animals, and our citizen initiative process. Learn more in Animal Defense League of Arizona’s Legislative Alert

Update: Animal Protection Bills Introduced

HB2062 animal fighting paraphernalia; offense (Kavanagh), prohibits a person from knowingly owning, possessing, purchasing, selling, transferring or manufacturing animal fighting paraphernalia that engages in, promotes or facilitates animal fighting or cockfighting. Thanks to the Humane Society of the United States – Arizona for their efforts on this legislation. Humane Voters of Arizona supports this bill.

HB2531 pet dealers; state preemption; repeal (Shah), repeals the 2016 law language that preempted local ordinances banning sale of dogs from puppy mills. Thanks to the Humane Society of the United States – Arizona for their efforts on this legislation. Humane Voters of Arizona supports this bill.

HB2537 cat declawing; prohibitions; exceptions (Shah), prohibits the practice of declawing cats unless it is for therapeutic purposes related to a medical condition. Humane Voters of Arizona supports this bill.

HB2652 unauthorized racing meetings; penalties; racketeering (Kavanagh), provides a felony 6 charge for unauthorized racing; adds offense under state racketeering statute. Humane Voters of Arizona supports this bill.

2019 Legislative Session  

2019 Legislative Report & Scorecard 

The 2019 Arizona Legislative Report and Scorecard is now posted on the HVA website. You can access it here.

Update: Arizona Becomes a Safer Place for Pets and Families

Arizona has become a safer place for animals thanks to all the legislators, government officials, and animal advocates who helped to get the felony cruelty bill passed. HB2671, a landmark anti-cruelty bill, officially becomes state law on August 27, 2019. This milestone victory ensures animal abusers will face stronger penalties in the worst cases of cruelty – the ones where abusers violently kill or seriously injure an animal.

This new law will prevent extreme cases of animal abuse from being charged at the lowest class 6 felony level, which are often reduced to a misdemeanor. Egregious cruelty cases will now be charged as a higher class 5 felony, which cannot be plea bargained down to a misdemeanor.

From now on, animal abusers will no longer be able to kill or torture a family pet and end up with zero jail time and no court supervised probation. This is a much-needed change that gives prosecutors the tools to ensure the sentence better reflects the severity of the crime.

Humane Voters of Arizona and its partner groups have worked tirelessly over the last four years to pass this legislation which helps protect animals, families, and communities throughout our state. This could not have happened without all of the calls, emails, and outreach to legislators from animal advocates. 

Pet Protection Bill Passes Legislature and Signed into Law!

HB2671 passed the AZ Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Ducey. This new law will prevent the most egregious cases of animal abuse from being reduced to misdemeanors. No longer will abusers be able to kill or torture a family pet and end up with zero jail time and no court supervised probation or treatment. The law will help protect not only pets, but families and communities throughout Arizona. Read more

Pet Protection Bill Passes Senate

Victory! Thanks to your support, HB2671, the bill that strengthens penalties for heinous pet abuse, passed the Arizona Senate today by a 20-9-1 vote! Please thank your senator if he/she voted ‘yes’ House in the coming weeks. You helped rescue this important legislation. We will need your voice again for the House vote and will keep you updated. Learn more here.

It’s time to stop protecting pet abusers – we need you to take action TODAY!

Police Dog Harassment Bill Passes Legislature, Signed by Gov Ducey

A measure to prohibit harassment of working dogs in police cars passed the Arizona Legislature and was signed into law.

HB2421 animal cruelty; working animal; harassment (Blackman) expands Arizona’ animal cruelty law to include intentionally or knowingly harassing a working animal in a law enforcement vehicle and classifies the violation as a class 1 misdemeanor. Rep Blackman and Brian Tassinari testified in committee that the bill is designed to address incidents of harassment of police dogs.

HB2421 passed the House unanimously and passed the Senate 29-1 (Sen Mendez cast the lone ‘no’ vote) and was signed by Governor Ducey.  HVA and its partner groups in HLCA supported this bill.

It’s Time to Stop Protecting Pet Abusers

Despite overwhelming public support, the Arizona Legislature has refused to move responsible legislation that would strengthen penalties & treatment opportunities for severe animal abuse cases – some ending in slow, painful deaths for animals.

We are running out of time to get a new bill moving and we need your help.
Learn more