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Animal Control and Adoption

Animal Control and Adoption Services
616 North Spring Street
Clarksville, TN 37040
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(931) 648-5750
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State and Local Regulations with Recommendations for Compliance

Cruelty

Tennessee State Law (TCA) 39-14-202.1: It shall be unlawful for any person to torture, maim or grossly overwork an animal. Montgomery County Resolution (MCR) and Clarksville City Statute Section 3-107: Cruelty to Animals: It shall be unlawful for any person to be guilty of cruel and inhumane treatment of any dumb animal.


Food, Water, Care or Shelter

Tennessee State Law (TCA) 39-14-202.2: It shall be unlawful for any person to fail unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter for an animal in the person's custody. Montgomery County Resolution (MCR) and Clarksville City Statute Section 3-105: Treatment and handling of confined animals: Animals or fowl of any kind shall not be kept or confined in any place where the water, shelter, ventilation, and food are not adequate and sufficient for the preservation of its health, safe conditions, and wholesomeness for food if so intended.

Montgomery County Animal Control Recommends....

Provide Plenty of Food & Water:
In winter, pets need to eat nearly double their summer rations to keep a layer of body fat to keep warm. Water must be available at all times, especially during the summer when panting causes dehydration. Put water in a tip resistant bowl or bucket to prevent tipping. Check bucket often for freezing during winter.

Protect Your Animals in Summer:
Animals are more susceptible to heat than humans. Since dogs do not perspire, they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paws. Short-nosed breeds like pugs and bulldogs are especially prone to heat stress. The same goes for northern breeds like Huskies, whose thick fur is designed for Alaskan winters, not Tennessee summers. At all other times, make sure they have access to shade. Tree shade can lower the ambient temperature by as much as 10 degrees. In summer, when chained, dogs have no choice but to urinate and defecate right where they live (something they never do in the wild). The waste draws flies which drive the dogs crazy - flies will actually eat off the tips of the dog's ears and cause other skin rashes and problems (See Section on Confinement).

Protect Your Animals in Winter:
In nature, animals live in cozy dens, their fur like your own winter coat, offers some protection, but they can still feel miserable in the cold. Puppies, elderly dogs, and small short-haired breeds like pointers and Dobermans should never be left outside during cold snaps:

Shelter:

  • The house should be constructed of plastic or painted wood (metal rusts and conducts heat or cold). Make sure it does not leak and that it faces south in winter, north in summer.
  • It should be of adequate size to allow the dog to enter the house while standing upright with adequate space for the dog to turn around. When the dog lies down in the house, no part of the animal protrudes from the house.
  • Raise the house off the ground several inches.
  • Put a flap over the door (an old rug or rubber mat with strips cut vertically).
  • The roof should extend 8 inches over the doorway to keep out rain.
  • Use straw, newspaper, or cedar shavings for bedding; nail a strip of wood at the bottom of the doghouse door to keep them from spilling out. Do not use rugs or rags- They absorb water and can freeze.
  • Put water in a sturdy, tip-resistant bowl or bucket to prevent tipping. Check several times a day for freezing during winter, and emptiness during summer.

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Abandonment

Tennessee State Law (TCA) 39-14-202.3: It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon unreasonably an animal in the person's custody.

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Confinement

Tennessee State Law (TCA) 39-14-202.4: it shall be unlawful for any person to transport or confine cruelly an animal in the person's custody. Montgomery County Resolution (MCR) and Clarksville City Statute Section 3-106: Cleanliness and Sanitary Conditions of Pens and Enclosures: Whenever animals or fowl are kept within the city, the building, structure, corral, pen, or enclosure in which they are kept shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition at all times.

If your dog is tethered, there are several things to consider. The law does not prohibit you from tethering your dog, but you may be charged under several state and local regulations if the dog is not tethered according to Montgomery County Animal Regulations. It is recommended that an animal be tethered out no more than eight hours per day. Dogs are pack animals, so it is important for them to socialize and be with others.

  • Bring your dog inside. Do not kid yourself that dogs "get used" to living outside. Unless you or other dogs are out there to share it with them, the yard quickly loses its charm. Constant barking is really a cry for attention (and you could receive a citation if the barking disturbs the quality of life for your neighbor). If it has stopped, it is not because your dog is content, but because he or she has given up hope for attention.
  • Build a fence. A 6 foot privacy fence is safest - it is harder for dogs to escape and harder for others to bother your dog. If a fence is out of your budget, set up an overhead running line so your dog can ecercise without getting tangled. Use a harness instead of a collar so dogs cannot strangle or hang themselves. This also decreases the chances of them pulling a collar over their heads and escaping.
  • The area that an animal is kept in must be free of hazards that would entangle the chain, which in turn could prevent the animal from reaching food, water, or shelter.
  • The area should also be free of physical hazards that might injure the animal. For example glass, metal, rocks, etc.
  • The area in which the animal is kept must be clean. If odors and flies are present, this presents a health hazard to your animal (and you could receive a citation if the odor is a bother to your neighbors Ref: CSS Sections 3-104 & 3-205).

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At Large

Tennessee State Law (TCA) 44-8-408: it shall be unlawful for any person to allow an animal in the person's custody or a dog belonging ot or under the control of such person, or may be habitually found on premises occupied by that person, to go upon the premises of another or upon a public road or street. Montgomery County Resolution (MCR) and Clarksville City Statute Section 3-203: Running at Large Prohibited: It shall be unlawful for any person to permit any dog or animal owned by him or under his control to run at large.

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Dangerous or Mischieveous Animals at Large

Montgomery County Resolution (MCR) and Clarksville City Statute Section 3-203: Running at Large Prohibited: It shall be unlawful for any person owning or being in charge of a dangerous or mischievous animal to run at large. The Montgomery County Animal Control Regulations has been amended to further define what a "Dangerous Dog" is and what your rights as an owner. If you have questions regarding this law, please contact your attorney: The detailed law can be found under the Regulations.

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Rabies Proof

Tennessee State Law (TCA) 68-8-101 Thru 68-8-114: It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep, or harbor any dog or animal without having the same duly vaccinated against rabies and duly registered. Montgomery County Resolution(MCR) and Clarksville City Statute Section 3-201: Rabies Vaccination and Registration Required: It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep, or harbor any dog or animal without having the same duly vaccinated against rabies and duly registered in accordance with the provisions of the Tennessee Anti-Rabies Laws.

Proof of rabies is a stamped/signed receipt from a Veterinarian. Proof of Rabies Certificate will have a registration number that matches the issued tag. Rabies shots are not authorized to be given by owners and must be administered by a Tennessee Veterinarian and duly registered with the Health Department.

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Rabies Tag Display

Tennessee State Law (TCA) 68-8-101 Thru 68-8-114: It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep, or harbor any dog or animal which does not wear a tag evidencing the required rabies vaccination. Montgomery County Resolution (MCR) and Clarksville City Statute Section 3-202: Rabies Tag Evidencing Vaccination Required: It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep, or harbor any dog or animal which does not wear a tag evidencing the required rabies vaccination in accordance with the provisions of Section 3-2-1 and the Tennessee Anti-Rabies Laws.

Proof of rabies is a stamped/signed receipt from a Veterinarian. Proof of Rabies Certificate will have a registration number that matches the issued tag. Rabies shots are not authorized to be given by owners and must be administered by a Tennessee Veterinarian and duly registered with the Health Department. Dogs or cats are required to display the rabies tag on their collar or harness. This tag will assist city & county agencies in the return of the animal to its registered owner.

Miscellaneous Information

Clarksville City Statute Section 3-104: Keeping in Such a Manner as to Become a Nuisance: No animal or fowl shall be kept in such a place or condition as to become a nuisance either because of noise, odor, contagious disease, or other causes.

Clarksville City Statute Section 3-104: keeping or Harboring Noisy Dogs or Animals Prohibited: No person shall own, keep, or harbor any dog or animal which by loud and frequent barking, whining or howling, or other unusual noises, annoys or disturbs the peace and quit of any neighborhood, family or person.

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