Laws Every Tennessee Pet Owner Should Know

Owning a pet is a wonderful experience. In exchange for providing for their physical needs, your pet gives you unconditional love and great joy. Pet owners are usually healthier and happier than Tennessee residents who don’t own pets.

While there are lots of perks associated with owning a pet, there are also several Tennessee pet laws all pet owners need to know.

Your Dog Must Be Properly Licensed

If you own a dog, it has to be licensed. Failing to stay on top of your dog’s license could result in your county charging you a fine. The only dogs who are exempt from the state’s licensing laws are puppies who haven’t turned four months old.

All Dogs Have to be Up to Date With Their Rabies Vaccination

If you own a dog, you’re responsible for making sure it has had a rabies vaccination. In some areas, they have to get a rabies vaccination every year. In other areas, you can go for three years between the vaccine. The vaccine has to be given by a certified vet. Without proof of the rabies vaccination, you can’t purchase a dog license.

You Can’t Abandon Your Pet

Once you accept responsibility for your pet, you are expected to keep the pet for the rest of its life. If you can’t you need to re-home it. You’re not allowed to simply abandon it. If you’re caught abandoning an animal, you will face animal cruelty charges.

You’re Responsible for your Pet

You’re expected to be in control of your pet at all times. If your dog ruins someone’s personal property or bites someone, it’s your fault. Civil charges can be brought against you.

Tennessee’s Spay/Neuter Laws are Changing

Tennessee lawmakers have become increasingly aware of the pet overpopulation problem in their state. They hope that tougher spay/neuter laws will reduce the number of strays animal control deals with each year. All shelters are required to provide proof that the animals they’re putting up for adoption have been spayed or neutered.

Tennessee’s pet laws are constantly changing. If you own any type of pet, it’s in your best interest to routinely review both local and state pet ownership laws.