Search Menu

A positive Tennessee state bill that recognizes the value of therapy dogs is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee at their meeting on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, at 8:30am. Tennessee residents are encouraged to contact committee members and ask them to vote yes on Senate Bill 1867. Please scroll down for committee contact information.

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 Government Relations (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.”

CURRENT BILL STATUS:  SB 1867 passed in the Senate Education Committee on March 20 and is on the agenda of the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee for April 9. Companion bill HB 1908 remains on the calendar of the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee where it has been placed behind the budget. AKC GR submitted letters of support for these bills.

 WHAT YOU CAN DO:  Tennessee dog owners are urged to contact Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee members prior to their meeting tomorrow morning to express support for SB 1867. A brief voice mail or email message is sufficient: “My name is _____ and I am a Tennessee resident. Please vote YES on Senate Bill 1867. Thank you!”

Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee

Sen. Bo Watson, Chair, (615) 741-3227,

Sen. John Stevens, Vice Chair, (615) 741-4576,

Sen. Joey Hensley, 2nd Vice Chair & Sponsor SB 1867, (615) 741-3100,

Sen. Ferrell Haile, (615) 741-1999,

Sen. Jack Johnson, (615) 741-2495,

Sen. London Lamar, (615) 741-2509,

Sen. Bill Powers, (615) 741-2374,

Sen. Page Walley, (615) 741-2368,

Sen. Dawn White, (615) 741-6853,

Sen. Ken Yager, (615) 741-1449,

Sen. Jeff Yarbro, (615) 741-3291,

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact AKC Government Relations at