This Tennessee statute provides that any dog which attacks a human and causes death or serious injury may be destroyed upon the order of the circuit court where the attack occurred. The owner shall be given notice that if he or she does not appear before the court within five days and show cause why the dog should not be destroyed, then the order shall issue and the dog shall be destroyed. This statute also allows certain counties to make ordinances to petition a general sessions court to provide for the disposition of dangerous dogs and/or dogs causing death or serious injury to humans or other animals.
(a) Any dog that attacks a human and causes death or serious bodily injury may be destroyed upon the order of the judge of the general sessions court of the county wherein the attack occurred. Such orders shall be granted on the petition of the district attorney general for the county. The petition shall name the owner of the dog, and the owner shall be given notice in accordance with Rule 4.01 of the Tennessee rules of civil procedure, that if the owner does not appear before the court within five (5) days of the receipt thereof and show cause why the dog should not be destroyed, then the order shall issue and the dog shall be destroyed.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), in counties having a population in excess of eight hundred thousand (800,000), or having a metropolitan form of government and a population in excess of one hundred thousand (100,000), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census, a municipality or county is authorized to adopt local ordinances authorizing the municipality or the county to appropriately petition in a general sessions court to provide for the disposition of dangerous dogs or dogs causing death or serious bodily injury to humans or other animals.
1978 Pub.Acts, c. 757, § 1; 1999 Pub.Acts, c. 85, § 1, eff. April 12, 1999; 2010 Pub.Acts, c. 882, § 1, eff. May 5, 2010; 2014 Pub.Acts, c. 562, § 1, eff. July 1, 2014.