Search Menu

If you own intact female dogs, you could be regulated as a “commercial” dog breeder under a bill that is advancing in Tennessee.  Concerned dog owners are urged to immediately contact members of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee and respectfully ask them to vote no on dog breeder amendments to Senate Bill 283.

You can leave a message in each committee member’s voice mail box this evening and early tomorrow morning.  Please scroll down for contact information.  The best opportunity to halt this bill is by sending messages to committee members tonight and early tomorrow—make 9 phone calls and send 9 emails.

Why does this matter?

Problematic definition.  The amendment to Senate Bill 283 would insert new language that defines a “commercial dog breeder” as a person who, during a 12-month period, possesses or maintains 10 or more intact female dogs, six months of age or older, for the primary purpose of selling their offspring as household pets. The AKC believes that breeders should not be regulated based on the number of intact dogs owned, as this does not necessarily indicate commercial activity.

  • In other states, the definition has been lowered so that owners of four female dogs are regulated as “commercial” breeders, even if only a single litter is bred or a single puppy is sold. Supporters of last year’s proposed dog breeder bill stated that the INTENT was to pass a bill and later lower the number to four. 
  • Under these bills, simply keeping a female dog intact is often considered to be evidence that her “primary purpose” is to produce puppies for sale, regardless if she is ever bred or if her puppies are ever sold.
  • Many dog owners who were designated as “commercial dog breeders” based on their ownership of intact female dogs would be out of compliance with their zoning codes, even if they only occasionally bred a litter or sold a puppy.

Unachievable requirement. The amendment to Senate Bill 283 would enact unachievable requirements for many dog owners who found themselves designated as “commercial dog breeders” because of their ownership of intact female dogs. Specifically, a person would be required to either be licensed as an animal dealer by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or to obtain a letter of determination from USDA that a license is not required. It is important to note that USDA does not issue letters of determination. 

These and additional problematic provisions could be voted on by the committee tomorrow.

What you can do TONIGHT (4/3) and TOMORROW MORNING:

Immediately contact members of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee and politely ask them to vote no on dog breeder amendments to Senate Bill 283. The committee could vote at their meeting tomorrow, April 4, at 2:30 p.m.  Committee members must hear from you before the meeting.

Senate Commerce and Labor Committee Contact Info:

Sen. Jack Johnson, Chair, (615) 741-2495,
Sen. Mark Green, 1st Vice Chair, (615) 741-2374,
Sen. Kerry Roberts, 2nd Vice Chair, (615) 741-4499,
Sen. Dolores R. Gresham, (615) 741-2368,
Sen. Bill Ketron, (615) 741-6853,
Sen. Reginald Tate, (615) 741-2509,
Sen. Jim Tracy, (615) 741-1066,
Sen. Bo Watson, (615) 741-3227,
Sen. Ken Yager, (615) 741-1449,

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