These Tennessee anti-cruelty provisions define "animal" as a domesticated living creature or a wild creature previously captured. A person commits the offense of cruelty to animals (a Class A misdemeanor) if he or she intentionally or knowingly tortures, maims or grossly overworks an animal; fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal in the person's custody; abandons unreasonably an animal in the person's custody; transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner; or inflicts burns, cuts, lacerations, or other injuries or pain. Animal fighting is also prohibited under this section, with dog fighting incurring a felony penalty and cockfighting resulting in a misdemeanor in most cases. A person commits aggravated cruelty (a Class E felony) to animals when, with aggravated cruelty and with no justifiable purpose, he or she intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal. Exclusions include animal farming, research, veterinary practices, hunting, trapping, "dispatching" rabid animals or wild animals on one's property, among other things.
Learn about animal cruelty in the state of Tennessee and get more involved in protect animals in need in the state.