State Legislature Goes To The Dogs
The Tennessee State Legislature is going to the dogs. Earlier this week, a bill was introduced that would make it a misdemeanor to restrain a dog with a chain, tether, or similar device while a disaster is occurring or imminent…such as a flash flood or a tornado. Now a lawmaker from Bristol is proposing a law that would expand the state’s animal cruelty laws. Senator Jon Lundberg’s bill would create standards for shelter that must be provided to dogs. Under the bill, anyone with a dog in their custody would be required to provide shelter in a structure that “must be four sided and ventilated with an entrance on one side, a roof, and a solid floor that is in good repair and allows the dog to remain reasonably dry and maintain normal body temperature.” The structure would have to be large enough for a dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down in and must protect the dog from adverse weather and direct sunlight. During cold weather, the shelter would have to contain adequate bedding material. In the summer months, a separate natural or artificial shaded area outside of the structure would have to be accessible by the dog. Any violation of that law would be considered animal cruelty, a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class E felony for a second offense.