What the public needs to know about owning and housing animals
All animals are different, but there are certain rules that apply to animals that are the same, no matter what kind they are.
For example, Dogs need shelter and water by State Law. A lot of people ask me what is a proper shelter. Proper shelter for a dog is having a 3 sided structure with a top on it so the dog has a way to get out of the weather. Dogs that are chained outside also need to have water provided 24/7 so they can stay hydrated. The lead the owner uses for a dog must be at least 15 feet long and placed in a way that the animal cannot get tangled or hung up on objects.
There is a Running at Large Law for dogs. The owner of a dog that runs at large can be cited and fined and in some cases will even have to go to court, if the dog continues to run and or injures someone or another animal.
Dogs also need to be seen by a vet at least once a year. This is to make sure the dog is healthy, free from disease and has a current rabies vaccination. It is Tennessee State Law that dogs must have a current rabies vaccination.
Now as far as cats go, the main thing is to spay/neuter. A lot of people believe that kittens are really cute, but then when they grow, they are not so cute and they turn them out. Most of the time, those cats are not spayed or neutered and they start producing kittens very quickly and very frequently. That is the reason there are a lot of feral cats in our community. Many of these cats carry disease such as feline leukemia, feline aids, feline infectious peritonitis, feline distemper and upper respiratory infections and so once again it is important that cat owners keep their cats up to date on all vaccinations to protect them in case they come into contact with a feral cat.
There is also a Running at Large Law for cats. Even though we may love our cats, some of our neighbors may object to our cats running on their property, destroying flower beds and furniture and marking their territory. Cats are run over all the time and when the cats are not protected in a home they are vulnerable to being hit by a car or attacked by another animal.
Please help us to help you keep your animals safe and healthy and in their own homes.