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Dear Legislative Liaisons, Club Officers, and Dog Owners,

Please forward this message to your fellow dog owners in Tennessee:

House Bill 1909 would make it an animal cruelty violation to restrain a dog with a chain, cord, tether, cable, or similar device while a natural or manmade disaster is imminent or occurring. This would include a tornado warning, severe flood warning, or mandatory or voluntary evacuation order in the “geographic area” where the dog is located.

Though well-meaning, AKC is concerned that, as currently written, this measure could have potentially harmful unintended consequences including the criminalization of restraints that might be the only safe way to handle or transport a pet in an emergency situation. For example, this measure would make it a crime during emergency situations to restrain a dog with a leash held by a person, to secure a dog with a tether for its own safety, or to tether it so it could not escape prior to or during an emergency evacuation.

The AKC believes this specific proposal is unnecessary and could be potentially harmful to the safety and wellbeing of pets.

HB 1909 is on the calendar for the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee for Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 1:30 p.m.


What You Can Do

Contact members of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee prior to the meeting on Tuesday to respectfully state your concerns and ask them to not advance HB 1909 as written.

Click here for committee member contact information, or go to:

For more information, please contact AKC Government Relations at or 919-816-3645.