The American Kennel Club (AKC) learned today that an ordinance that seeks to significantly amend Metro Nashville/Davidson County (TN) animal law will receive a second vote tomorrow, June 7, 2022.
What you can do: Animal owners are urged to contact their council members IMMEDIATELY to express concerns and ask them to not approve the ordinance as currently written. Scroll down to view contact information.
You can also state concerns at the council meeting on June 7, 2022, 6:30pm, at the Historic Metro Courthouse, 1 Public Square, 2nd Floor, Nashville, TN 37201.
The proposed ordinance has been cited as updating dangerous dog laws; however, among other unclear and problematic provisions, it would enact pet limits and make the use of certain humane and accepted shelters for animals illegal.
To view the ordinance and additional amendments, click here, click on “Agenda” for the 6/7/22 Metropolitan Council meeting, and scroll to Item 107. Then click on BL2022-1252. When you get to the ordinance page, scroll down and select click here for full text.
Primary Concerns and Talking Points for Local Dog Owners:
Pet ownership limits. The proposed ordinance seeks to establish limits on the number of dogs and cats over the age of 4 months that may be kept on a property. AKC opposes laws that limit the number of dogs a responsible owner may keep, as well as unreasonable limitations on pet ownership.
Owners would be allowed to have 1-5 dogs and cats on less than 1.0 acre, up to 10 on 1.5 acres or more, up to 20 on 2.5 acres or more, and 21+ on 5 acres or more. Pet owners would have 15 days to come into compliance. Veterinary clinics, kennels, boarding facilities, licensed pet shops and pet dealers are exempted.
While responsible owners would be limited on the number of pets they could own and keep confined on their property, “community cat” caregivers would be allowed to maintain an unlimited number of feral and at-large cats, and to redeem community cats from the shelter without proof of ownership or payment of charges and fees.
Visit AKC’s key issue page at www.akcgr.org/limit for more talking points on why limit laws are ineffective.
Problematic definition of extreme weather conditions. An overly broad definition seeks to define “extreme weather conditions” as temperatures below 32 degrees, temperatures above 95 degrees, or when the National Weather Service issues a weather advisory for a tornado warning or severe thunderstorm warning. AKC opposes arbitrary and one-size-fits-all requirements for dogs. Although the ordinance, as currently written, does not impose temperature restrictions for dogs, legislatively defining 32 degrees or a weather advisory as “life-threatening” for animals could prove problematic. Visit the Tethering/Dogs Outdoors key issue page in the AKC Legislative Action Center for more talking points on effectively protecting dogs outdoors.
Overreaching doghouse/shelter requirements. A barn, doghouse, or other shelter for an animal would be required to have a solid level floor raised at least two inches from the ground. This would outlaw sheltering animals in stables and other humane and accepted structures with earthen, concrete, brick, and other ground-level surfaces. AKC recognizes that responsible dog owners utilize a variety of indoor and outdoor solutions to provide safe housing and exercise areas for their dogs.
Dog tag requirements/Microchipping. Similar to current law, the proposed ordinance would require a dog to wear a collar with both a license tag and a rabies tag attached. Also, the proposed ordinance does not require animal control to scan a lost or impounded animal for a microchip. Further, animal control is authorized to insert an identifying microchip in an impounded animal at owner expense without first determining if the animal is already microchipped.
Animal owners are encouraged to ask their council members to amend the proposed ordinance to require that impounded animals shall be scanned for a microchip upon intake and again prior to adoption, transfer, sterilization, or euthanasia. The time, date, name, and employee ID of the person who performed the scan should be documented in the animal’s record.
Contradictory holding and redemption periods. Both current law and the proposed ordinance include inconsistent minimum holding periods for impounded animals, with different requirements for “animals” versus for “any dog.” This should be clarified to provide owners the maximum amount of time to redeem lost animals.
Council Member Contact Information:
Vice Mayor Jim Shulman, 615-880-3357, 615-584-1082, email@example.com
At-Large 1 Bob Mendes, 615-432-1341, 615-756-3533, firstname.lastname@example.org
At-Large 2 Sharon Hurt, 615-432-1342, 615-804-9852, email@example.com
At-Large 3 Burkley Allen, 615-432-1343, 615-383-6604, firstname.lastname@example.org
At-Large 5 Zulfat Suara, 615-432-1345, 615-585-2558, email@example.com
Dist. 1 Jonathan Hall, 615-432-1301, 615-586-3046, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 2 Kyonzte Toombs, 615-432-1302, 615-601-5127, email@example.com
Dist. 3 Jennifer Gamble, 615-432-1303, 615-860-2602, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 4 Robert Swope, 615-432-1304, 615-308-0577, email@example.com
Dist. 5 Sean Parker, 615-432-1305, 615-339-6946, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 6 Brett Withers, 615-432-1306, 615-427-5946, email@example.com
Dist. 7 Emily Benedict, 615-432-1307, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 8 Nancy VanReece, 615-432-1308, 931-297-4148, email@example.com
Dist. 9 Tonya Hancock, 615-432-1309, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 10 Zach Young, 615-432-1310, 615-390-6840, email@example.com
Dist. 11 Larry Hagar, 615-432-1311, 615-972-4335, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 12 Erin Evans, 615-432-1312, email@example.com
Dist. 13 Russ Bradford, 615-432-1313, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 14 Kevin Rhoten, 615-432-1314, 615-483-9535, email@example.com
Dist. 15 Jeff Syracuse, 615-432-1315, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 16 Ginny Welsch, 615-432-1316, 615-293-3365, email@example.com
Dist. 17 Colby Sledge, 615-432-1317, 615-442-3727, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 18 Tom Cash, 615-432-1318, email@example.com
Dist. 19 Freddie O’Connell, 615-432-1319, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 20 Mary Carolyn Roberts, 615-432-1320, 615-977-9262, email@example.com
Dist. 21 Brandon Taylor, 615-432-1321, 615-946-9700, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 22 Gloria Hausser, 615-432-1322, 615-307-0823, email@example.com
Dist. 23 Thom Druffel, 615-432-1323, 615-767-6458, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 24 Kathleen Murphy, 615-432-1324, 615-422-7109, email@example.com
Dist. 25 Russ Pulley, 615-432-1325, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 26 Courtney Johnston, 615-432-1326, email@example.com
Dist. 27 Bob Nash, 615-423-1327, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 28 Tanaka Vercher, 615-432-1328, email@example.com
Dist. 29 Delishia Porterfield, 615-432-1329, 615-208-3068, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 30 Sandra Sepulveda, 615-432-1330, 615-389-2795, email@example.com
Dist. 31 John Rutherford, 615-432-1331, 615-829-6004, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 32 Joy Styles, 615-432-1332, 615-717-4017, email@example.com
Dist. 33 Antoinette Lee, 615-432-1333, 615-755-5482, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dist. 34 Angie Henderson, 615-432-1334, 615-260-5530, email@example.com
Dist. 35 Dave Rosenberg, 615-432-1335, 615-208-7129, firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information, please contact American Kennel Club Government Relations at email@example.com.