Three bills of interest to Tennessee dog owners are scheduled for committee hearings next week.
HB 1635/SB 1595 seek to prohibit emotional support animals that are not trained or being trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability from being brought into indoor areas of food service establishments. While AKC supports this legislation in principle, AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) contacted staff for the sponsors of the bills to inquire if this legislation could be interpreted to disallow the operation of concession stands inside facilities that are hosting animal events. SB 1595 has passed unamended in Senate committees and next will be voted on by the full Senate. HB 1635 is scheduled to be heard by the House Health Subcommittee on February 13, 2024.
HB 1908/SB 1867, the Beyond Ordinary Learning Opportunities (BOLO) Act, would require the Department of Education to establish a one-year pilot program to place a therapy dog in five public schools in the 2024-2025 school year. AKC GR thanks Rep. Gino Bulso and Sen. Joey Hensley for sponsoring this legislation that recognizes the value of a “calm, obedient canine that is trained to provide support, comfort, and companionship to people in educational, health, and therapeutic settings.” HB 1908 passed in the House Education Administration K-12 Subcommittee and is scheduled to be heard by the House Education Administration Committee on February 14, 2024.
HB 2079/SB1957 seek to establish a process for a licensed veterinarian to report suspected animal cruelty and to testify in a judicial or administrative proceeding concerning the care of the animal without being subject to criminal or civil liability. The bills specify that the veterinary will be acting in a professional capacity and in a current veterinarian-client-patient relationship, and have reasonable cause to believe that an animal has been subjected to animal cruelty in violation of Tennessee state laws § 39-14-202, § 39-14-214, or § 39-14-217. HB 2079 is scheduled to be heard by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee on February 13, 2024. AKC GR continues to monitor this legislation.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Tennessee dog owners who wish to comment on any of these bills are urged to contact members of the subcommittee or committee that will consider these bills prior to their meeting dates on February 13 or 14. Click on the committee/subcommittee links above, then click on each member’s name for contact information.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact AKC Government Relations at email@example.com.