2019 Tennessee Code
Title 39 - Criminal Offenses
Chapter 14 - Offenses Against Property
Part 2 - Animals
§ 39-14-205. Intentional killing of animal.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 39-14-205 (2019)
  • (a)

    • (1)

      • (A) It is an offense to knowingly and unlawfully kill the animal of another without the owner's effective consent.

      • (B) A violation of subdivision (a)(1)(A) is theft of property, graded according to the value of the animal, and punished in accordance with § 39-14-105.

    • (2)

      • (A) In determining the value of a police dog, fire dog, search and rescue dog, service animal or police horse under § 39-14-105, the court shall consider the value of the police dog, fire dog, search and rescue dog, service animal or police horse as both the cost of the animal and any specialized training the animal received.

      • (B) Notwithstanding subdivision (a)(1)(B), a violation of subdivision (a)(1)(A) with respect to a police dog, fire dog, search and rescue dog, or police horse shall be a Class E felony, unless the offense would be a higher classification based on the animal's value, in which case the violation shall be graded pursuant to subdivision (a)(1)(B).

  • (b) A person is justified in killing the animal of another if the person acted under a reasonable belief that the animal was creating an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury to that person or another or an imminent danger of death to an animal owned by that person. A person is not justified in killing the animal of another if at the time of the killing the person is trespassing upon the property of the owner of the animal. The justification for killing the animal of another authorized by this subsection (b) shall not apply to a person who, while engaging in or attempting to escape from criminal conduct, kills a police dog that is acting in its official capacity. In that case subsection (a) shall apply to the person.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Tennessee may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.