So far in 2022, responsible Tennessee dog owners have successfully opposed several problematic bills. Next week, more overreaching bills are scheduled for hearings. These bills could actually increase the risk of harm to dogs.
Senate Bill 2243 and House Bill 2860 both seek to make it an offense for a person to restrain a dog with a chain, cord, tether, cable, or similar device when a severe flooding or tornado warning or a mandatory or voluntary evacuation order is in effect for the geographic area where the dog is located. Unfortunately, these bills could increase the risk of harm to a dog by prohibiting a person from “restraining” their dog to keep it safe and close by when preparing to evacuate or during an evacuation with the dog.
The bills would also make it an offense to safely tether a dog during certain weather warnings, even if the dog has access to appropriate shelter or if the forecasted conditions do not occur where the dog is specifically located.
The bills are scheduled for consideration early next week. Concerned Tennessee dog owners are urged to contact members of both committees to state their opposition to the bills.
What you can do:
FIRST: Contact Senate Judiciary Committee members and respectfully ask them to vote NO on Senate Bill 2243. The committee is scheduled to consider the bill on March 29.
Sen. Mike Bell, Chair, (615)741-1946, email@example.com
Sen. Dawn White, (615)741-6853, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Paul Rose, (615)741-1967, email@example.com
Sen. Todd Gardenhire, (615)253-0209, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Sara Kyle, (615)741-4167, email@example.com
Sen. Jon Lundberg, (615)741-5761, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Kerry Roberts, (615)741-4499, email@example.com
Sen. John Stevens, (615)741-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEXT: Contact House Criminal Justice Subcommittee members and respectfully ask them to vote NO on House Bill 2860. The subcommittee is scheduled to consider the bill on March 30.
Rep. Clay Doggett, Chair, (615)741-7476, email@example.com
Rep. Cameron Sexton, (615)741-2343, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Bill Beck, (615)741-3229, email@example.com
Rep. Michael Curcio, (615)253-0244, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Andrew Farmer, (615)741-4419, email@example.com
Rep. Bruce Griffey, (615)741-6804, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. G.A. Hardaway, (615)741-5625, email@example.com
Rep. Dan Howell, (615)741-7799, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. William Lamberth, (615)741-1980, email@example.com
Rep. Debra Moody, (615)741-3774, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Lowell Russell, (615)741-3736, email@example.com
The voices of Tennessee dog owners were heard this week! Thanks to action and advocacy by responsible dog owners, House Bill 2034 failed in subcommittee. This bill also dealt with tethering dogs. A problematic proposed amendment to the bill would have removed important exemptions to allow the safe tethering of dogs in conjunction with hunting and working activities, and as required by campsites and parks. AKC Government Relations continues to monitor HB 2034 because of a procedural technicality that, though unlikely, could allow a re-vote by the subcommittee. At this time, no additional action by Tennessee dog owners is recommended on HB 2034.
Why overreaching anti-tethering bills matter to responsible dog owners:
It is already a crime under Tennessee state law to knowingly tie, tether, or restrain a dog in a manner that results in the dog suffering bodily injury.
Also, under existing law, upon conviction for certain animal-related offenses, the dog must be forfeited to a humane society and a court may prohibit the person convicted from having custody of other animals for any period of time the court decides. These significant penalties could apply regardless of whether a dog suffered any harm—or even discomfort—from being tethered or restrained.
View advocacy resources from AKC Government Relations:
The Question of Tethering
AKC Canine Legislation Position Statement on Tethering
For additional information, please contact AKC Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-816-3720.