Full Statute Name:  West's Tennessee Code Annotated. Title 38. Prevention and Detection of Crime. Chapter 1. Miscellaneous Provisions. Part 4. Cross Reporting of Animal Cruelty. § 38-1-402. Reports by protective services agency employees; confidentiality.

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Primary Citation:  T. C. A. § 38-1-401 - 403 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  February, 2019 Alternate Citation:  Tenn. Code Ann. § 38-1-402 - 403 Date Adopted:  2006
Summary:

This Tennesee statute requires employees of child or adult protective service agencies to report animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect that they know or reasonably supect to have occurred in their county. The statute also describes the amount of time that an employee may have to make a report and ensures the confidentiality of the employee. The statute also makes clear that it does not impose a duty on the employee to investigate known or reasonably suspected animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect.

§ 38-1-401. Definitions

As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Animal” means a domesticated living creature or a wild creature previously captured;

(2) “Cruelty,” “abuse,” and “neglect” mean every act, omission, or neglect whereby unreasonable physical pain, suffering, or death is caused or permitted;

(3) “Owner” means any person who is the legal owner, keeper, harborer, possessor, or the actual custodian of an animal. “Owner” includes corporations as well as individuals; and

(4) “Reasonable suspicion” means that it is objectively reasonable for a person to entertain a suspicion, based upon facts, that could cause a reasonable person in a like position, drawing, when appropriate, on the person's training and experience, to suspect animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect.

Credits

2006 Pub.Acts, c. 736, § 2, eff. July 1, 2006.

 

§ 38-1-402. Reports by protective services agency employees; confidentiality

(a) Any state, county or municipal employee of a child or adult protective services agency, while acting in a professional capacity or within the scope of employment, who has knowledge of or observes an animal that the person knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of cruelty, abuse, or neglect, shall report the known or reasonably suspected animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect to the entity or entities that investigate reports of animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect in that county.

(b) The report required under subsection (a) may be made within two (2) working days of receiving the information concerning the animal, by facsimile transmission of a written report presented in the form described in § 38-1-403, or by telephone, if all of the information that is required to be provided pursuant to § 38-1-403 is furnished. In cases where an immediate response may be necessary in order to protect the health and safety of the animal or others, the report may be made by telephone as soon as possible.

(c) Unless a duty exists under current law, nothing in this section shall be construed to impose a duty to investigate known or reasonably suspected animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect.

(d) Nothing in this part shall expand or limit confidentiality requirements under existing law relative to child or adult protective services. The name of any employee of a child or adult protective services agency who reports known or reasonably suspected animal cruelty, abuse or neglect shall remain confidential.

Credits

2006 Pub.Acts, c. 736, § 3, eff. July 1, 2006.

 

§ 38-1-403. Report forms; telephone reports; reporting exceptions

(a) If not made by telephone, reports made pursuant to § 38-1-402(a) may be made on a preprinted form prepared by the entity or entities that investigate reports of animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect in that county, that includes the definitions contained in § 38-1-401 and a space for the reporter to include each of the following:

(1) The reporter's name and title;

(2) The reporter's business address and telephone number;

(3) The name, if known, of the animal's owner or custodian;

(4) The location of the animal and the premises on which the known or reasonably suspected animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect took place;

(5) A description of the location of the animal and the premises;

(6) The type and numbers of animals involved;

(7) A description of the animal and its condition; and

(8) The date, time, and a description of the observation or incident that led the reporter to suspect animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect and any other information the reporter believes may be relevant.

(b) Any employee making a report or telephone call pursuant to this part shall make all reasonable efforts to include the information delineated in subsection (a). Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose a duty to investigate known or reasonably suspected animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect.

(c) When two (2) or more employees of a state, county or municipal child or adult protective services agency are present and jointly have knowledge of known or reasonably suspected animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect, and where there is agreement among them, by mutual agreement, a report may be made by one (1) person. Any reporter who has knowledge that the person designated to report has failed to do so may thereafter make the report.

(d)(1) Nothing in this part shall be construed as prohibiting legal hunting and fishing activities.

(2) Nothing in this part shall be construed as prohibiting the owner of livestock as defined in § 43-1-114 (b), or someone acting with consent of the owner of livestock, from engaging in usual and customary practices that are accepted by colleges of agriculture or veterinary medicine with respect to livestock, nor shall this part be construed as requiring the reporting of those practices.

(3) Nothing in this part shall be construed to apply to a veterinarian or veterinary technician engaged in accepted veterinary practices.

Credits

2006 Pub.Acts, c. 736, § 4, eff. July 1, 2006; 2014 Pub.Acts, c. 568, § 3, eff. March 21, 2014.

 

 

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