Chattapets: Do you know Chattanooga's laws on animals?

Chattapets: Do you know Chattanooga's laws on animals?

July 25th, 2011 by Staff Report in Life Entertainment


The Humane Educational Society will begin planning for an upcoming fundraiser, Paws in the Park, with a kickoff organizational/fundraising meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at HES, 212 N. Highland Park Ave. Volunteers are needed to help pass out fliers, hang posters, find sponsorships and door prizes, and other duties. Email to RSVP.

Do you know the city's laws regarding animals?

The following is a condensed version of the city of Chattanooga Animal Ordinances details. The complete version, including fees, is found in Chapter 7 of the City Code or at

• Leash law. You can't take an unleashed animal onto anyone else's property without his or her permission. Also, it's against the law to allow an unleashed animal on most public property.

• Public nuisance. It's against the law to allow your pet to turn over garbage cans, damage a flower (or vegetable) garden, threaten the safety of walkers, bicyclists or motorists.

• Animal causing unsanitary conditions. All owners are required to immediately and properly dispose of pet waste.

• Keeping stray animals. It's against the law to keep an animal [that] doesn't belong to you without permission of the owner. Notify the McKamey Animal Center within 24 hours. An Animal Services officer will take the animal and place it in a five-day stray hold. If not reclaimed in five days, then you may apply through the normal adoption process and fees to become the adoptive owner of the animal.

• Claiming impounded animal. To pick up your animal, you must pay fees depending on the time the animal was impounded.

• Licensing. Every dog and cat over the age of 3 months must be licensed. The license must be attached to the dog or cat's collar and worn at all times.

• Animals surrendered by owner. If you surrender your animal to the McKamey Animal Center, the animal may be immediately placed for adoption or humanely destroyed.

• Rabies. State law requires all dogs and cats to be vaccinated under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

• Multipet permits. If you have more than seven dogs and/or cats, you must get an annual multiple-pet permit from the McKamey Animal Center in addition to city licenses for each individual animal. This does not apply to a registered rescue organization, an animal shelter or a zoo of a governmental agency or college.

• Guard-dog licenses. It is against the law for any person or business to supply guard dogs to the public without a valid license.

• Barking dogs. It is unlawful to allow a barking dog to exist in the city. A barking dog means any dog which, by causing frequent, long, continued noise, disturbs the comfort or repose if any person or creates any other noise that a reasonable person would find distressing or disruptive.

• Tethering dogs and other animals. It is against the law for any person to tie or tether a dog or other animal to a stationary object for more than a reasonable period (not to exceed 12 hours in a 24-hour period). Animals may not be tethered between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

• Transporting in an inhumane manner. It against the law to carry any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner, or to leave an animal in a vehicle in a manner so as to subject such animal to excessive heat.

• Keeping or possessing pigs, goats or chickens. It is against the law to keep pigs, goats, chickens or roosters within the city on property other than agriculturally zoned land, unless animals are kept on a tract of land containing five or more acres.

• Curbside sale. It is unlawful to sell, barter, trade or adopt any animal as a curbside sale within the city limits of Chattanooga.