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The voices of Tennessee’s responsible dog owners have been heard! Three bills that would have criminalized safe and effective dog care practices did not advance in Tennessee legislative committees this week. Certain provisions in each bill could have resulted in cruelty charges against an owner and confiscation of animals absent harm—or even discomfort—to a dog. Read AKC’s previous legislative alert on these bills. The American Kennel Club (AKC) thanks those Tennessee dog owners who contacted legislators and expressed concerns.

Please thank committee members who responded to your concerns! Send a message of thanks to these members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who did not vote to advance Senate Bill 195, the problematic bill on outdoor dog shelters.

Sen. Todd Gardenhire, Chair, (615)741-6682,
Sen. Dawn White, Vice-Chair, (615)741-6853,
Sen. London Lamar, (615)741-2509, 41-2509
Sen. John Stevens, (615)741-4576,
Sen. Kerry Roberts, (615)741-4499,

House Bill 472, the companion bill to Senate Bill 195, has been taken off notice in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and is unlikely to be considered this year.

Senate Bill 835, a problematic bill on tethering, has been referred to the General Subcommittee of Senate Judiciary Committee and is unlikely to be considered this year.

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) appreciates the Nashville Kennel Club for taking action on these and other bills, and for their continued advocacy on behalf of the well-being of dogs and the rights of responsible owners.

Because Tennessee has a two-year legislative session, dog owners should remain aware that bills could be brought forward in the future and that problematic language can be “attached” to a different bill. AKC GR will continue to provide updates and action alerts on dog-related legislation in Tennessee.

For additional information, please contact AKC Government Relations at