Tennessee Service Dog Laws

Understanding the Rights of Service Dogs in Tennessee

Service dogs play a vital role in the lives of individuals with disabilities, providing support and assistance in various activities. In Tennessee, there are specific laws in place to protect the rights of service dog owners and ensure their equal access to public spaces and housing accommodations. Let’s delve into these laws and gain a better understanding of the rights and protections available to service dog owners in Tennessee.

Accommodation Law: Ensuring Access to Public Spaces and Housing

According to Tennessee law, no proprietor, employee, or person in charge of any place of public accommodation, amusement, or recreation can refuse entry or deny the use of accommodations to a blind, physically disabled, or deaf or hard of hearing person who is accompanied by a dog guide. This law also extends to dog guide trainers, emphasizing the importance of their presence in assisting individuals with disabilities.

It is worth noting that any violation of this section is considered a Class C misdemeanor, emphasizing the seriousness of denying access to individuals with disabilities and their service dogs. Additionally, the law ensures that every totally or partially blind person with a guide dog is entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations.

Legally blind individuals in Tennessee who require a guide dog for mobility purposes cannot be denied the right to lease an apartment or other types of dwellings based on their possession of a guide dog. Any owner, manager, landlord, or agent who violates this provision or refuses to lease living space to a legally blind person because of a guide dog is also guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.

See also  How to Train a Stray Dog: A Guide to Building Trust and Discipline

Harassment of/Interference with Service Dogs: Protecting Service Animals and Their Functions

Tennessee law takes a strong stance against the harassment or interference with service dogs. Intentionally or knowingly injuring a guide dog, thereby permanently depriving the owner of the dog’s services, is considered theft of the animal. The court determines the value of the guide dog based on its cost and any specialized training received.

Furthermore, committing aggravated cruelty to animals by intentionally causing serious physical injury or killing a companion animal without justifiable purpose is considered a Class E felony. If the unlawful act results in the death or permanent disability of a person’s guide dog, the value of the guide dog includes the cost of the dog and any specialized training.

It is important to note that Tennessee law makes it an offense to harm or attempt to harm a service animal, resulting in a Class A misdemeanor. Knowingly interfering with a service animal in the performance of its duties is also a Class C misdemeanor. In addition to the penalties, the court may order full restitution for damages related to the offense, including incidental and consequential damages incurred.

Driving Law: Ensuring Safe Crossings for Pedestrians with Service Dogs

In Tennessee, drivers must exercise caution and bring their vehicles to a complete stop when they encounter a pedestrian guided by a guide dog or dog on a blaze orange leash attempting to cross a public street. Drivers must take all necessary precautions to avoid injuring the pedestrian. Violation of this law is considered a Class C misdemeanor.


The state of Tennessee recognizes the invaluable support and assistance that service dogs provide to individuals with disabilities. By enforcing laws that protect the rights of service dog owners, Tennessee ensures equal access to public spaces, housing accommodations, and safe interactions on the road. These laws not only guarantee the welfare and well-being of service dogs but also reinforce the importance of inclusion and respect for individuals with disabilities.

See also  How to Clean and Maintain Your Slicker Brush for a Healthy Pet Coat

For more information on service dog laws and related topics, visit 1mquotes.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Looks Blog by Crimson Themes.