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.
§ 38-1-402. 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.
2006 Pub.Acts, c. 736, § 3, eff. July 1, 2006.