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Bills of interest to Tennessee dog owners are advancing through the state legislative process.

New Bill Information:

 HB 2266/SB 2030 seek to amend state laws governing rental housing and leases to establish that “reliable documentation” regarding need for a support animal does not include documentation provided through a website, the primary function of which is to provide a certificate, registration, license, or similar document for a service animal or support animal for a fee. HB 2266 is scheduled to be heard by the House Business and Utilities Subcommittee on February 20, 2024.

Updated Bill Information:

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. AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) contacted staff for the bill sponsors and inquired if this legislation could be interpreted to disallow the operation of concession stands inside facilities that host animal events. Staff indicated that operation of concession stands at these events would not be negatively affected. Upon receipt of those responses, AKC supports these bills. SB 1595 passed in the Senate. HB 1635 is next scheduled to be heard by the House Committee on Health on February 21, 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 is next scheduled to be heard by the House Finance Ways and Means Subcommittee on February 21, 2024.

HB 2079/SB 1957 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 passed in subcommittee and is scheduled to be heard by the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee on February 21, 2024. SB 1957 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Energy, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Committee on February 21, 2024. AKC GR continues to monitor this legislation.


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 them prior to their meeting dates on February 20 or 21. 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