Tennessee

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Titlesort descending Summary
State v. Reyes Defendant, Jose Reyes, was convicted of one count of rape of a child and sentenced to thirty-two years at 100%. On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the verdict and that the trial court erred in denying his motion in limine to prevent the Child Advocacy Center facility dog from being present with the victim as he was testifying. The appellate court reviewed prior relevant cases including Dye, Chenault, and Tohom, and stated that “we cannot conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in permitting the use of the facility dog, Murch, during the trial.” The attempt to assign error to the procedure was determined to be “without merit.” Other defense arguments on appeal having been similarly rejected, the appellate court affirmed the judgment of the trial court.
State v. Scott
The appellant pled guilty to one count of animal fighting, one count of cruelty to animals, and one count of keeping unvaccinated dogs, and asked for probation. The trial court denied the appellants request for probation and sentenced him to incarceration. The appellant challenged the trial court's ruling, and

the appellate court affirmed the trial court's decision to deny probation, stating that the heinous nature of the crimes warranted incarceration.

State v. Siliski


The defendant operated a dog breeding business, “Hollybelle's Maltese,” in which she bred purebred Maltese dogs in her Franklin home, advertised the resulting puppies on an Internet website, and shipped the puppies to buyers located around the country. She was convicted by a Williamson County Circuit Court jury of eleven counts of animal cruelty. The main issue on appeal concerned the imposition of sentence, which included both consecutive terms of probation and a permanently prohibition from engaging in any commercial activity involving animals. The appellate court affirmed the defendant's convictions but concluded that the trial court erred by ordering consecutive periods of probation in conjunction with concurrent sentences. However, the court found that  the trial court's permanent prohibition against her buying, selling, breeding, or engaging in any commercial activity involving animals  was authorized by the animal cruelty statute. As the court stated, "Given this proof and the court's findings, we cannot conclude that the trial court erred in ordering that the defendant be permanently barred from engaging in commercial activity with respect to dogs."

State v. Siliski


In this Tennessee case, the defendant, Jennifer Siliski, was convicted of nine counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Williamson County Animal Control took custody of over two hundred animals forfeited by the defendant as a result of her criminal charges and convictions. Third parties claiming ownership of some of the animals appeared before the trial court and asked for the return of their animals. This appeal arises from third parties claiming that they were denied due process by the manner in which the trial court conducted the hearing regarding ownership of the animals and that the trial court erred in denying their property claims. The appellate court concluded that the trial court did not have jurisdiction in the criminal case to dispose of the claims, and reversed the judgment.

Tennessee Code 1858: Article VI: Killing Game, Poisoning Fish, Fire Hunting Tennessee laws from 1858 concerning the hunting of game, poisoning of fish, and the use of fire to hunt. The law establishes the punishment for the above mentioned offenses.
Tennessee Code: Article V: Cruelty to Animals Tennessee's laws concerning cruelty to animals from 1858. The laws cover what qualifies as cruelty to animals to the punishment to be given a slave that is cruel to animals.
TN - Assistance Animal - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws


The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.

TN - Bovine - Chapter 21. Liability of Bovine Owners This chapter operates similarly to equine activity liability laws and provides that a bovine owner shall not be liable for any injury, loss, damage, or death of a person resulting from the inherent risks of bovine activities. The section also requires the posting of warning signs alerting visitors to bovine activities that the owner or operator is not liable.
TN - Breeder -Part 7. Commercial Breeder Act (Expired June 30, 2014). In 2009, Tennessee enacted its Commercial Breeder Act. The act defines a commercial breeder as means any person who possesses or maintains, under the person’s immediate control, twenty (20) or more unsterilized adult female dogs or cats in this state for the purpose of selling the offspring as companion animals. Commercial breeders must maintain and display licenses to operate in accordance with the act. Further, the act requires commercial breeders to keep on file at all times the number of dogs and cats in their possession and how many were sold during the reporting period. Inspections may occur under the act, but are not mandatory.
TN - Breeders - Chapter 1200-33-01. Commercial Breeders This chapter of Tennessee regulations implements the Commercial Breeder Act, T.C.A. § 44-17-701, et. seq. The section requires that a commercial breeder apply for license and comply with licensure requirements. Standards of care are governed by the federal regulations for the Humane Handling, Care, Treatment, and Transportation of Dogs and Cats under the Animal Welfare Act, found at 9 CFR §3.1 through 3.19.

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