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Small dog standing behind a chain link fence

ABUSE & NEGLECT

If you see something, say something

Animal lovers are the eyes and ears of our community. It would be impossible to give abused animals another chance at life without your desire to do the right thing. Below are some of the most important laws that pet owners and animal lovers should know about so that together, we can hold each other accountable to uphold them.

Several forms of animal abuse are criminal offenses in Tennessee, including:

  • Torturing, beating, maiming, or badly overworking an animal

  • Neglecting an animal in a way that causes it physical pain or suffering

  • Unreasonably abandoning an animal in one’s custody (abandonment includes deserting an animal or failing to make arrangements for its care for more than one day)

  • Unreasonably failing to provide necessary and clean food, water, and shelter for an animal in one’s custody (View the statute here)

  • Transporting or confining an animal in a cruel way.

If a person intentionally kills, maims, tortures, or otherwise causes serious physical injury, death, or risk of death to a companion animal, the law considers the crime to be aggravated cruelty to animals (a felony).

Tenn. Code §§ 39-14-202, 39-14-212 (2022)

How to Report Animal Cruelty

If you suspect that an animal is being abused or neglected, it is best to contact the Animal Control Unit at Maury County Animal Services. 

Animal Control is available 7 days a week from 6 am - 6 pm. Emergency Animal Control Services are provided 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, including holidays.

For after hour emergencies, contact the Maury County Sheriffs Office at 931-388-5151 or E-COMM 911 at 931-388-2727 (choose Option 1 for Dispatch).

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