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Tennessee Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: Is it legal for my landlord to kick me out if I have a emotional support dog with a written order from my doctor?
Marjorie A Bristol
Marjorie A Bristol answered on Mar 1, 2018

No, the landlord cannot legally evict you do to having an ESA. If the ESA has destroyed property or is a nuisance, that might be a different story. You should consult an attorney to help.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: In Greene county tn is there such a thing as defiant trespassing? If so what Tennessee code would it be listed under?

My adult niece whom has never left home (19yrs old) refuses to move out will not help with bills and refuses to clean up after herself and her dogs. She is even throwing furniture meant for trash in the yard instead of hauling it to the dump in her pickup truck. She is verbally abusive to her mom... Read more »

Marjorie A Bristol
Marjorie A Bristol answered on Feb 18, 2018

Your sister can evict her. She will need to provide her notice and file a detainer action if she doesn't move at the end of the notice. She should consult an attorney to help her.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: My wife made a mistake of giving her puppy away that she paid for and wants her back, she has been dealing health

My wife and I purchased a Yorkie full breed, basically I am the one that purchased her and I am the one that cared for her, I am the one that took her to the doctor to get her shots, but the wife is the one that our puppy spent the time with because she wanted one, she has been dealing her health... Read more »

Marjorie A Bristol
Marjorie A Bristol answered on Jan 30, 2018

Probably not. A gift is a gift. You can't take it back once it is given.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: I've had this dog for 2 months and I'm trying to get the owner to come get him he refuses , wat are my rights

He even stated at 1 point I cannot care for the dog at this time take him to the animal shelter so I refused

Marjorie A Bristol
Marjorie A Bristol answered on Jan 29, 2018

What do you want to do with the dog? If you want to keep the dog, then keep it.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: If owners are not feeding their dog enough dog food and the dog is very very skinny are they legally in trouble?
Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Jan 11, 2018

Maybe? Call animal control or the local non-emergency line if you think there is an issue.

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...
Read more »

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...
Read more »

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 »

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