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: email@example.com
Vice-Chair Representative Jerry Sexton: firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Carson W. Beck: email@example.com
Representative Scotty Campbell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Vincent Dixie: email@example.com
Representative Clay Doggett: firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Andrew E. Farmer: email@example.com
Representative Bruce Griffey: firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative G.A. Hardaway: email@example.com
Representative David B. Hawk: firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Dan Howell: email@example.com
Representative Bud Hulsey: firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative William G. Lamberth: email@example.com
Representative Debra Moody: firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Lowell Russell: email@example.com
Representative Paul Sherrell: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.