Wilson County Animal Control Ordinances



To lawfully tether a dog outdoors, an owner must ensure that the dog:


  1. Does not suffer from a condition that is known, by that person, to be exacerbated (make worse) by tethering;
  2. Is tethered in a manner that will prevent it from becoming entangled with other tethered dogs, trees, debris, etc.;
  3. Is not tethered with a lead that (1) exceeds one-eighth (1/8) of the dogs body weight or (2) is a tow chain or a log chain;
  4. Is tethered with a lead that measures, when rounded to the nearest whole foot, at least 10 feet in length;
  5. Is tethered with a properly fitting harness or collar other than the lead, chain, a pinch, prong, or choke-type collar;
  6. Has a swivel located at both ends of the tether and the tether or chain is free of tangles;
  7. The animal has access to water, shelter, and dry ground at all times, and has access to adequate food; and
  8. Is not tethered in a manner that will allow it to reach within the property of another person, a public walkway or a road.
  9. If the animal is tethered to a tree it must be tethered in a manner that it will not be able to wrap around the tree, the dog is not to be tethered to tree limb.




 Proper Shelter:


Four walls, a floor, a roof, and a door:


  1. Size:  
  1. The shelter should be small enough to allow dog to warm the interior of dog house and maintain body heat; but
  2. Large enough to allow dog to stand, turn and lie down.


  1. Weather:

When the real or effective temperature is 45 degrees or lower the following should be provided;

  1. The entry way must be protected by a self-closing door, and offset outer door, or a flexible flap;
  2. A sufficient amount of dry bedding such as cedar shavings or straw must be provided to insulate against cold and damp weather.
  3. All animals must have access to some sort of shade from the sun in hot weather, and the shelter should be placed where it will be adequately shaded in hot weather and have the best protection from the wind and cold weather.



Cruelty to animals


§39-14-202 Cruelty to animals

  1. A person commits an offense who intentionally or knowingly:
  1. Tortures, maims or grossly overworks an animal:
  2. Fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal in the person’s custody;
  1. A person commits an offense who knowingly ties, tethers, or restrains a dog in a manner that results in the dog suffering bodily injury as defined in § 39-11-106(2)