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Tennessee Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: what happens if someone says you sold them a sick dog

I rehomed my dog ruby and her two puppys they was Chihuahuas we agreed on the rehoming fee however she contacted me and had someone else contact me days later saying I sold her sick dogs she also said the vet told her they was fox terriers and that they had to be treated for worms and fleas I have... Read more »

Marjorie A Bristol
Marjorie A Bristol answered on Jan 6, 2018

It depends on what representations you made to her in selling the dogs. If you told them they were healthy and had been verified healthy by a vet, then you might want to get that proof ready. She can try to sue you for the vet bills. If she does, you should consult a lawyer. Dogs get worms and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: Re-homing a dog vet responsiblities - new owner or old?

I recently re-homed my outside dog who was in a pen outside. He was in good health (no heartworms/mange/etc) The new owner takes the dog to the vet for comprehensive testing and grooming. Turns out he had an ear infection. And they want me to pay half of the bill, if not they will sue me and report... Read more »

Marjorie A Bristol
Marjorie A Bristol answered on Jan 5, 2018

The dog was theirs when they took it, I would say. As far as reporting you for animal cruelty, they can certainly do that, but that doesn't mean that you will be charged. The DA will ultimately have to make that decision.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Contracts and Agricultural Law for Tennessee on
Q: If we allowed friends to keep an animal on a field we lease providing they cared for their animal and they did not

Do so and we have no contract, if given a 30 days notice to remove the animal via a Facebook message at the end of the 30 days if the animal is not removed do we have the right to claim the animal as our own and/or rehome it?

Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright answered on Sep 4, 2017

Sounds like you did a good deed and allowed a friend to leave their animal with you. I am hoping by this time the friend has picked up their animal. If not, I would notify them that if they have not picked up the animal by a time certain you will be charging at so much a day. This will likely... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Family Law and Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: My mother in law is keeping our pit for a couple of months until we move. She had him fixed without our consent.

She won't give him back and now says he is hers. She said she can do watever she wants because she said he's her dog. But she was just supposed to be keeping him a few months. She had him fixed without our consent. We want him back and she wont give him to us. What can be done? He is a $3500 dog.

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Aug 10, 2017

If you have proof of purchasing the animal, I suggest you file a lawsuit to recover it. ( an animal is simply considered property under TN law). I expect she will say that you made a "gift", in other words, that you gave her the dog to keep, so try to find anything ( an email, or old text message)... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Tennessee on
Q: I was bit by a neighbors dog when i went to get my dog out of my neighbors yard. do i have any rights?
David Alan Wolf
David Alan Wolf answered on Aug 1, 2017

As I understand it, Tennessee has strict liability for a dog bite in place if the dog bite victim was on public property or lawfully on private property. Under your facts, the neighbor and / or the insurance company for the neighbor may have a defense to the dog bite injuries by arguing that you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Tennessee on
Q: a friend wants to keep his pitbull in our yard in a gated area. If the dog injures someone, are we liable?

the house is uninhabited as the principle resident, my mother, is abroad for an extended period. The dog will be unleashed and unattended and the gate unlocked while the dog is in it.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jul 18, 2017

Depends on height of fence etc. Dog should likely be on a chain, there should be good insurance on the house.

Short answer--mom is liable if she--via you--allows someone to park an animal known to have bitten people in her her backyard, with no lock on gate etc. What if dog gets out? Bad...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: if you found a dog 4 months ago and the owner is claiming him. will I have to give him back
Brian Lehman
Brian Lehman answered on Jan 8, 2017

You are in Tennessee, but here is what a court in Vermont said: "The value of a pet to its human companions has already been noted.   Accordingly, apart from providing care and shelter, finders of stray pets should also be encouraged to make every reasonable effort to find the animal's owner.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: If someone bring your dog to the vet legally can they keep that animal?

My step mom is trying to keep my sister's dog because she has been staying at our hiuse for a few months while she has been looking for a house. Well now my step mom is claiming that she can keep her cause she brought her to the vet. The dog hasn't been sick or anything so unless there was anything... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Nov 14, 2016

Not usually. But you may be on the hook for the vet bill. One would need to know more facts to determine proper ownership.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: Legal rights on genetic abnormalities

I purchased a dog with the understanding that the dog was in good health only later to find out that the dog had a heart murmur and has also since deteriorated and is now not using his left leg secondary to massive hip dysplasia with femur anomalies what are my options since I did not get a bill of... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Nov 11, 2016

Seems like you could possibly have a breach of contract with the seller of the animal. Consult counsel.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: My sister has a pit which she can't have at her house I've been keeping him for about 4 months she wants him back

But he doesn't recognize her as his owner and I've became attached what should I do

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Oct 13, 2016

If your sister is the rightful owner of the dog, the the dog is not yours and should be returned.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Wrongful Death for Tennessee on
Q: Soon-to-be ex had my 9yr old dog put to sleep at the vet without my knowledge or permission. Can I sue her?

Going through a divorce. Married less than two years. Wife took my 9yr old Springer Spaniel to vet for an ear infection and had him put to sleep without my knowledge or consent. Can I bring a lawsuit against her? Is this a felony or misdemeanor? Thank you.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Sep 3, 2016

None of the above. If the dog went to the vet and was put to sleep I assume the vet had a reason. They aren't in the business of euthanizing dogs. She had equal right to the dog, so I don't see a suit. Even if you could bring one the law views loss of a pet as loss of the economic/market value of a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Wrongful Death for Tennessee on
Q: Can I sue animal control? Or is there something I can do at all??

My 15 years old dog was taken out of my fenced in yard by animal control, but they left my four other dogs. She was very skinny, but she always ate. She was just old, and it was pretty obvious she was. They left no warrant or notice. It took me two days to even figure out she was in the pound... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Sep 2, 2016

Technically they may have violated the law by taking property--even if they claimed it was due to emergency circumstances.

Suggest you see if there is an animal rights lawyer in yor state you can speak with. Groups dealing with animal protection issues would be the best source. Ideally, if...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Contracts and Personal Injury for Tennessee on
Q: I purchased a puppy that I was told was kid friendly. 2 days later it nipped my child in the face. What can I do?

The person I purchased it from assured me if there was a problem they would take the puppy back and refund my money. Now they are saying they don't think they should. Can I take any kind of legal action to make them take the dog back and refund my money as they said they would?

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Aug 16, 2016

If they said they would then it's something you can take them to small claims for--ask for costs of keeping the dog or they take dog back.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: landlord unplugged a water supply to a small animal cage and then left it unplugged leaving the animal with no water

He unplugged it to use the electric for his on purpose. Apparently he has done this on other times and without permission. What are my daughters renters rights regarding this kind of issue? She lives in Florida

Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng answered on Jun 15, 2016

Its hard to answer this question on the info you've provided. Is there a written lease? That document could contain a clause which allows the landlord a right of entry for inspections, etc. More importantly, Florida law is going to control ( and I'm not licensed to practice law there). Generally,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Criminal Law for Tennessee on
Q: My parents gave me a dog as a gift in ny and i have witnesses saying he did...i moved to tn and took the dog with me..

Can they press charges for theft and what rights do i have to the dog

Eugene L. Belenitsky
Eugene L. Belenitsky answered on Mar 9, 2016

They can certainly press charges. You have a defense that this was a gift. Possession is considered important but is not conclusive. Who gave the dog the shots? Who took the dog to the vet? Who has the dogs records? Who walked the dog? Who fed the dog? Who initially paid for the dog? How long ago... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: I had a bbq my dog is chained to a tree. He is to hyper, and a kid goes near and my dog jumps on him. The father is sue

I warned the kids not to go near him cause those kids are small. And he loves to jump all over everybody.My dog is very hyper. And his nails are a little long so he scratches when he jumps on you. Not knowing his nails hurt. My dog jumped on the kid and he scratched him in the process. I was told... Read more »

Robert Jason De Groot
Robert Jason De Groot answered on Sep 8, 2015

Did you have a question? Does your homeowner insurance policy cover this?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: my dog gets off her leash and my neighbor beats her to "train her properly" what can I do?

My dog is very protective and barks a lot, which of course scares some kids. But she was being friendly when my neighbor tried to help us catch her and came to her when she called her, then she started beating her in the face and tells us that we need to do the same to train her properly and says... Read more »

Adam Studnicki
Adam Studnicki answered on Jul 30, 2015

Check the TN laws about cruelty to animals and/or animal abuse. A local animal law lawyer can assist.

Please Take Notice: I am not your lawyer unless we enter into an engagement agreement in writing. This is general information that is given for legal education only. It is not legal...
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