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SB 1788 – REQUIREMENTS FOR STRUCTURES THAT HOUSE DOGSSenate Bill 1788 seeks to establish new, potentially vague requirements for providing shelter to dogs. This bill is on the agenda of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, February 22 at 3:00pm. Dog owners are urged to immediately contact committee members and ask them to oppose SB 1788 as currently written. Concerns include:

  • A structure with fewer than—or more than—four sides, or a structure with an entrance on more than one side, would not meet requirements for shelter for a dog. This would outlaw the use of round “igloo” style doghouses. Also, it is unclear if sheltering a dog in a kennel building with more than one door or in a non-rectangular structure would be violations.
  • Failure to provide bedding material in a dog’s structure during undefined “cold weather” would be a violation, even for dogs that may chew or ingest bedding.
  • Housing a working farm, herding, or flock guardian dog with livestock in a structure without a solid floor, such as a stable or barn, would be a violation.
  • Use of certain crates and carriers would not meet the requirements for a primary structure for a dog. It is unclear if use of crates and carriers in conjunction with other shelter would be allowed.
  • A first violation would be a Class B misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation would be a Class E felony. On any conviction, the dog would be forfeited to a humane society.

Existing state law makes it a crime to fail to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter for an animal. Additional laws that seek to dictate how many sides or doors a dog’s shelter must have are unnecessary.

Tennessee residents who oppose SB 1788 are urged to immediately contact Senate Judiciary Committee members and respectfully ask them to not advance SB 1788 as written.  Click here, and click on each committee member’s photo for contact information.

HB 1646 – ADDITIONAL PROTECTIONS FOR CERTAIN WORKING DOGS:  House Bill 1646, a bill supported by the American Kennel Club (AKC), is on the agenda of the House Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee for February 23 at 11:00. Also known as “Joker’s Law, this bill would revise the offense of killing or severely injuring a police, fire, search and rescue, or service dog. Tennessee residents who support this legislation are urged to send a message of support for HB 1646 to subcommittee members. Click here and click on each subcommittee member’s photo for contact information.

HB 2034 – TETHERING:  House Bill 2034 deals with tethering dogs. It remains on the agenda of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, which next meets on February 23 at 9:00am. Read AKC’s previous informational alert on this legislation. AKC remains neutral on this legislation at this time.

For additional information, please contact AKC Government Relations at or 919-816-3720. Please note, AKC offices are closed on 2/21/22 in observance of Presidents Day.