During the first half of the 110th Tennessee General Assembly, Representative Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) sponsored legislation that creates additional pet protections which are especially critical for animals during the summer months.
House Bill 1103 strengthens existing law by requiring agencies that take in lost, stray or abandoned pets with some form of identification or notification information to contact the pet’s owner within 48 hours. The law helps expedite the animal’s return to a safe environment so they can receive proper care and also avoid prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures.
The combination of heat and humidity that Tennessee experiences during the summer months can be extremely dangerous to pets. Missing or abandoned animals usually become dehydrated more quickly because they do not have access to water or to cool environments. These factors often lead to an increased risk of overheating, heat stroke, or death.
“Heat and humidity can be very dangerous for us, but sometimes we don’t realize the impact these extreme conditions can also have on our pets,” said Representative Hill. “This is especially true when pets accidentally wander away or become lost. House Bill 1103 speeds up the search process for owners, cuts down on the potential for heat-related health risks, and may also streamline the adoption process for abandoned pets that are in need of a new home, as well as additional medical treatment.”
House Bill 1103 is the latest in a series of initiatives designed to protect the health and safety of Tennessee’s pets. In 2015, Republican lawmakers also passed House Bill 537, which extends the state’s Good Samaritan law to include pets. The legislation relieves all civil penalties associated with forcibly entering a motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a child or animal locked or trapped inside a vehicle if the individual believes that child or animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm.
For more information about House Bill 1103/Public Chapter No. 206, please visit the Tennessee General Assembly website at: http://publications.tnsosfiles.com/acts/110/pub/pc0206.pdf
Timothy Hill serves as House Majority Whip. He is also a member of the House Calendar & Rules, House Transportation and House Insurance & Banking Committees, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee. Hill lives in Blountville and represents House District 3, which includes Johnson and part of Carter and Sullivan Counties. He can be reached by email at: [email protected] or by calling (615) 741-2050.