TENN. CODE ANN. 39-14-201 et seq. -- last amended 2002
Definition of Animal: A domesticated living creature or a wild creature previously captured.
Statute Summary: A person commits the crime of cruelty to animals if the person:
Intentionally or knowingly tortures, maims, grossly overworks, fails to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal, abandons, transports in a cruel manner, inflicts burns, cuts, lacerations, or other injuries or pain to any animal by any method including blistering compounds to the legs or hooves of horses.
A person commits the crime of aggravated cruelty to animals if the person:
Intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal.
Cruelty to animals/Aggravated cruelty.
Class A Misdemeanor.
Fine up to $2,500.
11 months, 29 days to 30 years imprisonment.
Subsequent offense of aggravated cruelty to animals.
Class E Felony.
Fine up to $3,000.
Up to 6 years imprisonment.
Forfeiture of Animal/Seizure: Both.
Other Sentencing Provisions: Psychological counseling, cost of care, limited future animal ownership.
Unique Provisions: Trier of fact can award up to $4,000 in non-economic damages to a person whose companion animal is killed or sustained injury.
Exemption: Farming, research, veterinary care, protection of life and property.