(a) It is unlawful for any person to own, keep or harbor any dog or cat six (6) months of age or older that has not been vaccinated against rabies as required by this chapter, or the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter.

Terms Used In Tennessee Code 68-8-103

  • Agriculture: means :
    (i) The land, buildings and machinery used in the commercial production of farm products and nursery stock. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Cat: means all domesticated members of the feline family. See Tennessee Code 68-8-102
  • Commissioner: means the commissioner of health or a duly authorized representative. See Tennessee Code 68-8-102
  • Department: means the Tennessee department of health. See Tennessee Code 68-8-102
  • Dog: means all domesticated members of the canine family. See Tennessee Code 68-8-102
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Livestock: means all equine as well as animals that are being raised primarily for use as food or fiber for human utilization or consumption including, but not limited to, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, and poultry. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Owner: means any person having a right or property in a dog or cat, or who keeps or harbors a dog or cat, or who has it in such person's care or acts as its custodian, or who permits a dog or cat to remain on or about any premises. See Tennessee Code 68-8-102
  • Person: includes a corporation, firm, company or association. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Shelter: means animal or humane shelter, dog pound or animal pound. See Tennessee Code 68-8-102
  • United States: includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Vaccination: means the injection of a rabies vaccine for animals, which meets the standards prescribed by both the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) license granted to the vaccine for interstate sale and by the department. See Tennessee Code 68-8-102
  • Veterinarian: means any individual licensed by the state board of veterinary medical examiners to practice veterinary medicine in this state. See Tennessee Code 68-8-102
(b) Dogs and cats may be vaccinated as early as three (3) months of age or at an age as specified by the vaccine’s United States department of agriculture (USDA) license, but will be considered as noncompliant with this section if over six (6) months of age.
(c) Ferrets, certain livestock, hybrid animals and other animals may be vaccinated for rabies if a vaccine is legally available for that species. Routine rabies vaccination of animals other than dogs or cats is not required unless deemed necessary by the commissioner or by emergency rules of the department.
(d) All rabies vaccinations of dogs and cats as required by this chapter shall be administered only by or under the supervision of a veterinarian.
(e) Evidence of such vaccination shall consist of a certificate that contains the owner‘s name and address, date of vaccination, date the dog or cat should be revaccinated, description and sex of the dog or cat vaccinated, number of the vaccination tag issued when applicable, manufacturer and lot number of vaccine administered, and the name and signature of the supervising veterinarian. If the vaccination is given at an animal control facility or shelter, then the certificate shall contain the name and signature of the person administering the vaccine as well as that of the supervising veterinarian.
(f) The vaccination certificate shall be prepared in one (1) of the following manners, unless otherwise provided for by rule:

(1) Paper forms in triplicate; the original shall be given to the owner, the first copy provided to and retained by the department, and the veterinarian administering or supervising the administration of the vaccine shall retain the second copy; or
(2) Computer printout or electronic format, such that the owner, the department and the veterinarian administering the vaccine obtain a copy of the information provided for in subsection (e).
(g) The rabies certificate form and rabies tags shall be provided by the department.
(h) A licensed veterinarian may provide and use an alternative tag and certificate providing that the requirements in subsections (e) and (f) are met.
(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require more frequent rabies vaccinations or a greater number of rabies vaccinations than are required by the rabies compendium.