image4

Animal Cruelty

 Animal Cruelty is  getting more strict in the state of Tennessee. If you see any animals  being abused or neglected or left outside in the cold without shelter,  food or water please call your animal control in you area. Animal  Control will take care of dogs and cats. The Department of Agriculture  is in charge of horses and cattle.


39-14-202. Cruelty to animals. 

(a)  A person commits an offense who intentionally or knowingly:

(1)  Tortures, maims or grossly overworks an animal;

(2)  Fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal in the person’s custody;

(3)  Abandons unreasonably an animal in the person’s custody;

(4)  Transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner; or

(5)  Inflicts burns, cuts, lacerations, or other injuries or  pain, by any method, including blistering compounds, to the legs or  hooves of horses in order to make them sore for any purpose including,  but not limited to, competition in horse shows and similar events.

(b)  A person commits an offense who knowingly ties, tethers,  or restrains a dog in a manner that results in the dog suffering bodily  injury as defined in § 39-11-106.

(c)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that  the person was engaged in accepted veterinary practices, medical  treatment by the owner or with the owner’s consent, or bona fide  experimentation for scientific research.

(d)  Whenever any person is taken into custody by any officer  for violation of subdivision (a)(4), the officer may take charge of the  vehicle or conveyance, and its contents, used by the person to transport  the animal. The officer shall deposit these items in a safe place for  custody. Any necessary expense incurred for taking charge of and  sustaining the same shall be a lien thereon, to be paid before the same  can lawfully be recovered; or the expenses, or any part thereof,  remaining unpaid may be recovered by the person incurring the same of  the owners of the animal in an action therefor.

(e)  In addition to the penalty imposed in subsection (g), the  court making the sentencing determination for a person convicted under  this section shall order the person convicted to surrender custody and  forfeit the animal or animals whose treatment was the basis of the  conviction. Custody shall be given to a humane society incorporated  under the laws of this state. The court may prohibit the person  convicted from having custody of other animals for any period of time  the court determines to be reasonable, or impose any other reasonable  restrictions on the person’s custody of animals as necessary for the  protection of the animals.

(f)  (1)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as  prohibiting the owner of a farm animal or someone acting with the  consent of the owner of that animal from engaging in usual and customary  practices which are accepted by colleges of agriculture or veterinary  medicine with respect to that animal.

(2)  It is an offense for a person other than a law  enforcement officer acting with probable cause to knowingly interfere  with the performance of any agricultural practices permitted by  subdivision (f)(1).

(3)  An offense under subdivision (f)(2) is a Class B misdemeanor.

(g)  (1)  Cruelty to animals is a Class A misdemeanor.

(2)  A second or subsequent conviction for cruelty to animals is a Class E felony.

[Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1; 1991, ch. 223, § 1; 1992, ch. 840, § 1; 1997, ch. 90, § 4; 2004, ch. 940, § 6; 2007, ch. 535, § 1.]