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44-8-408 - Dogs not allowed at large Exception Penalties.

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44-8-408. Dogs not allowed at large Exception Penalties. (a)As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, “owner” means a person who, at the time of the offense, regularly harbors, keeps or exercises control over the dog, but does not include a person who, at the time of the offense, is temporarily harboring, keeping or exercising control over the dog. (b)The owner of a dog commits an offense if that dog goes uncontrolled by the owner upon the premises of another without the consent of the owner of the premises or other person authorized to give consent, or goes uncontrolled by the owner upon a highway, public road, street or any other place open to the public generally. (c)It is an exception to the application of this section that: (1)The dog was on a hunt or chase; (2)The dog was on the way to or from a hunt or chase; (3)The dog was guarding or driving stock or on the way to guard or drive stock; (4)The dog was being moved from one place to another by the owner of the dog; (5)The dog is a police or military dog, the injury occurred during the course of the dog's official duties and the person injured was a party to, a participant in or suspected of being a party to or participant in the act or conduct that prompted the police or military to utilize the services of the dog; (6)The violation of subsection (b) occurred while the injured person was on the private property of the dog's owner with the intent to engage in unlawful activity while on the property; (7)The violation of subsection (b) occurred while the dog was protecting the dog's owner or other innocent party from attack by the injured person or an animal owned by the injured person; (8)The violation of subsection (b) occurred while the dog was securely confined in a kennel, crate or other enclosure; or (9)The violation of subsection (b) occurred as a result of the injured person disturbing, harassing, assaulting or otherwise provoking the dog. (d)The exception to the application of this section provided in subdivisions (c)(1)-(4) shall not apply unless the owner in violation of subsection (b) pays or tenders payment for all damages caused by the dog to the injured party within thirty (30) days of the damage being caused. (e)It is not a defense to prosecution for a violation of subsection (b) and punished pursuant to subdivision (g)(1), (g)(2) or (g)(3) that the dog owner exercised reasonable care in attempting to confine or control the dog. (f)It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for a violation of subsection (b) and punished pursuant to subdivision (g)(4) or (g)(5) that the dog owner exercised reasonable care in attempting to confine or control the dog. (g)(1)A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by fine only. (2)A violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by fine only if the dog running at large causes damage to the property of another. (3)A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by fine only if the dog running at large causes bodily injury, as defined by § 39-11-106, to another. (4)A violation of this section is a Class E felony if the dog running at large causes serious bodily injury, as defined by § 39-11-106, to another. (5)A violation of this section is a Class D felony if the dog running at large causes the death of another. (h)Notwithstanding subsection (g), a violation of this section shall be punished as provided in subsection (i) if the violation involves: (1)A dog that was trained to fight, attack or kill or had been used to fight; or (2)The owner of the dog violating this section knew of the dangerous nature of the dog and, prior to the violation of this section, the dog had bitten one (1) or more people that resulted in serious bodily injury or death. (i)A violation of this section, where one (1) or more of the factors set out in subsection (h) are present, shall be punished as follows: (1)A Class C misdemeanor if the dog running at large does not cause property damage, injury or death; (2)A Class A misdemeanor if the dog running at large causes damage to the property of another; (3)A Class E felony if the dog running at large causes bodily injury to another; (4)A Class D felony if the dog running at large causes serious bodily injury to another; and (5)A Class C felony if the dog running at large causes the death of another.[Acts 1901, ch. 50, § 1; 1903, ch. 419, § 1; Shan., § 2853a4; Code 1932, § 5086; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 44-1408, 44-8-108; Acts 2007, ch. 533, § 1; 2007, ch. 556, § 1.]
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  • 44-8-408. Dogs not allowed at large Exception Penalties.

    (a)  As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, “owner” means a person who, at the time of the offense, regularly harbors, keeps or exercises control over the dog, but does not include a person who, at the time of the offense, is temporarily harboring, keeping or exercising control over the dog.

    (b)  The owner of a dog commits an offense if that dog goes uncontrolled by the owner upon the premises of another without the consent of the owner of the premises or other person authorized to give consent, or goes uncontrolled by the owner upon a highway, public road, street or any other place open to the public generally.

    (c)  It is an exception to the application of this section that:

         (1)  The dog was on a hunt or chase;

         (2)  The dog was on the way to or from a hunt or chase;

         (3)  The dog was guarding or driving stock or on the way to guard or drive stock;

         (4)  The dog was being moved from one place to another by the owner of the dog;

         (5)  The dog is a police or military dog, the injury occurred during the course of the dog's official duties and the person injured was a party to, a participant in or suspected of being a party to or participant in the act or conduct that prompted the police or military to utilize the services of the dog;

         (6)  The violation of subsection (b) occurred while the injured person was on the private property of the dog's owner with the intent to engage in unlawful activity while on the property;

         (7)  The violation of subsection (b) occurred while the dog was protecting the dog's owner or other innocent party from attack by the injured person or an animal owned by the injured person;

         (8)  The violation of subsection (b) occurred while the dog was securely confined in a kennel, crate or other enclosure; or

         (9)  The violation of subsection (b) occurred as a result of the injured person disturbing, harassing, assaulting or otherwise provoking the dog.

    (d)  The exception to the application of this section provided in subdivisions (c)(1)-(4) shall not apply unless the owner in violation of subsection (b) pays or tenders payment for all damages caused by the dog to the injured party within thirty (30) days of the damage being caused.

    (e)  It is not a defense to prosecution for a violation of subsection (b) and punished pursuant to subdivision (g)(1), (g)(2) or (g)(3) that the dog owner exercised reasonable care in attempting to confine or control the dog.

    (f)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for a violation of subsection (b) and punished pursuant to subdivision (g)(4) or (g)(5) that the dog owner exercised reasonable care in attempting to confine or control the dog.

    (g)  (1)  A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by fine only.

         (2)  A violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by fine only if the dog running at large causes damage to the property of another.

         (3)  A violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by fine only if the dog running at large causes bodily injury, as defined by § 39-11-106, to another.

         (4)  A violation of this section is a Class E felony if the dog running at large causes serious bodily injury, as defined by § 39-11-106, to another.

         (5)  A violation of this section is a Class D felony if the dog running at large causes the death of another.

    (h)  Notwithstanding subsection (g), a violation of this section shall be punished as provided in subsection (i) if the violation involves:

         (1)  A dog that was trained to fight, attack or kill or had been used to fight; or

         (2)  The owner of the dog violating this section knew of the dangerous nature of the dog and, prior to the violation of this section, the dog had bitten one (1) or more people that resulted in serious bodily injury or death.

    (i)  A violation of this section, where one (1) or more of the factors set out in subsection (h) are present, shall be punished as follows:

         (1)  A Class C misdemeanor if the dog running at large does not cause property damage, injury or death;

         (2)  A Class A misdemeanor if the dog running at large causes damage to the property of another;

         (3)  A Class E felony if the dog running at large causes bodily injury to another;

         (4)  A Class D felony if the dog running at large causes serious bodily injury to another; and

         (5)  A Class C felony if the dog running at large causes the death of another.

    [Acts 1901, ch. 50, § 1; 1903, ch. 419, § 1; Shan., § 2853a4; Code 1932, § 5086; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 44-1408, 44-8-108; Acts 2007, ch. 533, § 1; 2007, ch. 556, § 1.]  

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