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Tennessee Panel to Hear Bill Banning Outside Dogs

By April 5, 2022Legislation

Tennessee Panel to Hear Bill Banning Outside Dogs

On April 6, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will conduct a hearing to discuss legislation that prohibits tethering a dog outside unless it has constant and uninterrupted access to shelter, shade and water.

House Bill 2034 only exempts hunting, training and field trials if actively engaged in those activities. Without the continued presence of all three items at all times, a person who tethers a dog outside on a mild 70-degree day for even 5 minutes would be subject to criminal penalties under the state’s animal-cruelty law.

“This proposal doesn’t take real-world dog ownership into consideration, and opens the door to mindful dog owners being criminally cited,” said Dillon Barto, manager of state services at Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Dogs are perfectly comfortable outside, and tethers can be used humanely to keep them from running at large. Animal-cruelty laws should be based on the health and welfare of the dog in question, not on arbitrary items and timeframes that criminalize law-abiding dog owners when no danger exists.”

Tennessee sportsmen should contact members of the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and ask them to vote NO on HB 2034. Emails should be sent to:

Animal Cruelty and Abuse – As introduced, creates the offense of unlawful restraint of a dog when an owner leaves a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint without access to adequate shelter and potable water or restrains a dog outside and unattended by use of a prohibited restraint; classifies the offense as a Class C misdemeanor and a second or subsequent offense as a Class B misdemeanor. – Amends TCA Title 39.


Chairman Representative Michael G. Curcio:

Vice-Chair Representative Jerry Sexton:

Representative Carson W. Beck:

Representative Scotty Campbell:

Representative Vincent Dixie:

Representative Clay Doggett:

Representative Andrew E. Farmer:

Representative Bruce Griffey:

Representative G.A. Hardaway:

Representative David B. Hawk:

Representative Dan Howell:

Representative Bud Hulsey:

Representative William G. Lamberth:

Representative Debra Moody:

Representative Lowell Russell:

Representative Paul Sherrell:



About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.