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Tennessee Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: Livestock Roaming At Large Summons filed against my neighbor—Can I request restitution for damages to landscaping?

I presented landscaping pictures of before and after the poultry damaged the property via Email, including a video of chicken digging in. The Assistant DA refused to see the damages. Poultry repeated scratched for food for 3 months in our Landscaping and flower beds.

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Jan 4, 2024

If DA refuses to seek restitution, that is his discretion, not yours. If defendant convicted, then it is res judicata on the issue of property tort damage. But you will need to put on proof of money damages.

And you can file your own civil suit in General Sessions. However...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: I have 4 standard bullys who I have had for 3 years there owner was sentenced to prison and is serving a 6 year sentence

Recently his girlfriend came wanting 1 of the 4 dogs back because she has there papers and they are in her name.but its been 3 years that ive had them and 2 since he went to prison and left me fto be 100 percent responsible for there care financially no body has helped me at all she hasn't... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Feb 9, 2023

Dogs are property. It sound like she has the requisite paperwork proving that particular dog is her property.

Prepare an invoice for boarding and feeding for the time period you have provided those services, present it to the owner for payment, and give the owner back her dog.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Tennessee on
Q: The local law enforcement shot and killed my dog when responding to a noise complaint do I have a case against them?

I live in a trailer park and my neighbors called in a noise complaint because me and my wife were arguing because as we were leaving we couldn't find my card. We didn't know a noise complaint had been called, so we were inside our trailer looking for it. While we were looking we had left... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 23, 2024

It's understandable that you're feeling heartbroken and outraged by the actions of the local law enforcement in this tragic incident involving your beloved dog. Whether or not you have a case against them would depend on various factors, including the specific laws and regulations in your... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Family Law and Civil Rights for Tennessee on
Q: I had to give my dogs away but I told the people that I want them back not even a day they got one of my dog adopted

I also live with my family and we have three dogs. I don’t have the dogs registered so I’m not sure if I’m able to do anything. But yesterday my mother gotten a call about my dog not eating in two days and bite a person trying to feed her then wanted to put my dog down. We want and gotten her... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 23, 2024

It sounds like you're in a distressing situation regarding your dogs. If you didn't sign any legal documents relinquishing ownership of your dogs and you clearly communicated your intention to reclaim them, you may have grounds to seek legal recourse. However, without official... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: I'm living in the mountains of bon air in white county Tennessee and my neighbor is complaining about my chickens

An goats going on there property is against the law for them to walk across there property

Henry Ambrose
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answered on Jan 8, 2023

Letting your livestock run loose can be a crime. If they do any damage, you could be sued.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: If the owner of a dog in Tennessee is gone more than 24 hours can you take possession of the dog
Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Nov 29, 2022

No

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I press charges for dog that came off of private property to a cemetery where I was walking around? It didn’t bite
Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black
answered on Nov 27, 2022

A person walking around a cemetery who encounters a stray dog who didn’t bite him does not have a legal claim.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: Who would be in violation if an unleashed dog runs up to a leashed dog and the leashed dog attacks unleashed dog?

The leashed dog was in front of its home and unleashed dog ran to it.

Juliet Piccone
Juliet Piccone
answered on May 19, 2022

The owner of the unleashed dog would be liable for dog at large and the owner of the leashed dog could be liable for dangerous dog with the potential defense of provocation.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: do you have to have a certain piece of land for farm animals in tennessee or can you have farm animals on private land
Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Apr 15, 2022

You can certainly have farm animals on private land, but you will need it fenced in. Livestock At Large is a crime.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I shoot a dog if it is constantly unleashed and going in my yard and defecating in my lawn? Also causing my dog (tha

t is leashed) to come unglued. Also, they said they'd shoot our dog if on their property.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Apr 12, 2022

Please don't shoot the dog. That poor animal doesn't know what it's doing, nor does it understand property boundaries. There are Tennessee Animal/Dog law attorneys here who know this area of law best, but your question remains open for a week and there are more humane solutions.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: What is the statue of limitations on stealing a support dog, and then someone else receiving the dog and giving her away
Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Feb 22, 2022

It should be the 3 year SOL for the property tort of conversion. I doubt criminal sanctions apply, but then 1 or 2 years SOL.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: Madison County……Is animal control allowed to be on private property without a warrant?

My toddler accidentally let our dog out. Animal control came by to pick up a stray that was roaming the neighborhood and causing some problems. I apologized and explained the situation. She told me I needed to go get her or she would have to pick her up. I pointed out that she was telling me I had... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Sep 13, 2021

Animal Control Officers are Law Enforcement. And yes, they can go onto private property to aprehend animals without a Warrant. You might want to hire an attorney to work this out, as it can be difficult and expensive. It does not appear that you are capable of representing yourself.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: Is there a charge for someone threatening to shoot and kill your dogs? When they are fenced and away from property line

I own a boarding and breeding business so these dogs are a livelihood not merely pets.

Kristina M. Bergsten
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Kristina M. Bergsten
answered on Nov 23, 2020

This could constitute animal cruelty, it depends on your jurisdiction. Try reporting it to the police and see if they will help.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: I got to go to court for animal at large I chose to repisent my self I think I think I need a lawyer how to I get one
Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills
answered on Nov 12, 2020

To find a lawyer you can use the directory on this website, Google, or many others.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: My aunt has told her ex that he’s going to be evicted and he has told her that he will not leave without two of her pugs

He has not paid any vet bills he didn’t not pay for any of them does he have any right to them?

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Oct 7, 2020

Aunt needs to file the Detainer Warrant now. They can worry about the Dogs later. He might even sue her for return of his personal property, which she may be able to defend against as the owner. Again file the Detainer, and do not get into a fight or he will get leverage.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: Rescue dog kills neighbors fighting chickens our dog is now dead. They want to be reimbursed

Rescued a dog from person on Facebook, stated the owner of the dog never came back for him. Seemed very sweet kind dog we own 4 cats + 2 other dogs everyone got along. In the middle of the night dogs got out went to the neighbor's house killed and maimed chickens and now they want an... View More

Kristina M. Bergsten
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Kristina M. Bergsten
answered on Sep 3, 2020

I am not sure I understand the situation. Did your dog die from injuries from the chickens? Fighting chickens (I'm assuming you mean roosters - I've never heard of fighting chickens) are illegal, as far as I am aware, so I am not sure they would count as livestock, let alone be... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: Am I liable for a neighbors cat being attacked in my yard?

My mother and my dog were just sitting relaxing on the back deck when a cat walked up the stairs of my deck. The cat tryed to get some food like it always does and the dog whent up to it casually to sniff it and the cat scratched the dog on its nose. Thats when the dog chased the cat into the... View More

Kristina M. Bergsten
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Kristina M. Bergsten
answered on Jul 23, 2020

I think I already answered this question here, or on another forum, but either way, without knowing what her evidence is, it's impossible to say whether you'll be liable or not. In a criminal court, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your dog caused the cat's... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: My neighbor is saying I'm responsible for a $1200 vet bill because her cat was bit by my dog. The cat was on my propert

My mother and my dog were just sitting relaxing on the back deck when a cat walked up the stairs of my deck. The cat tryed to get some food like it always does and the dog whent up to it casually to sniff it and the cat scratched the dog on its nose. Thats when the dog chased the cat into the... View More

Kristina M. Bergsten
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Kristina M. Bergsten
answered on Jul 23, 2020

If this is a criminal case, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your dog caused the cat‘a injuries in order for you to be liable. If this is a civil case, the other party has to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (think: 51%) that your dog caused the cats injuries.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: Can I legally own a dog if someone else’s name is on a vet record?

Around the end of May, my boyfriend’s sister brought a dog to live with us. We said the dog could stay for 2-3 days, but she told us it would be until she moves out without even asking us. She has only paid for 1 vet visit (that I paid part of) and the very beginning essentials. Since then, she... View More

Kristina M. Bergsten
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Kristina M. Bergsten
answered on Jul 20, 2020

Vet records usually are not considered ownership documents in and of themselves. Purchase or adoption paperwork are #1; microchip or registration records are usually #2; then vet records at looked at. So, it's hard to answer your question. That said, since you know she is the original owner,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Contracts for Tennessee on
Q: What are the laws when a breeder sells you a dog and the dog dies due to a illness the breeder knew about?

The breeder knew about the illness but didn’t tell us about the illness.

Kristina M. Bergsten
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Kristina M. Bergsten
answered on Jul 18, 2020

It usually depends on the language in the purchase contract, but if the contract doesn’t cover this sort of illness or you can prove the breeder knew about the illness, you Can sue for your financial losses and vet bills.

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