​​Don’t Make Humane Shelters for Animals Illegal

Target: Jim Shulman,Vice Mayor of Nashville

Goal: Don’t shut down animal shelters and force stray animals into the streets.

A new bill is making its way through the Metro Nashville Council that puts the lives of thousands of dogs and cats in jeopardy. This bill, BL2022-1252, will make problematic revisions to terms like “animal shelter” and “dangerous dog” as they are currently defined by the law. Included in these changes, the Council plans to enact strict limits on the number of dogs and cats over the age of 4 months that may be kept on any property, even by responsible owners or animal rescuers. There are also potentially unintended consequences that may arise from updates outlined in BL2022-1252. For example, one section of the bill specifically states that Metro Animal Care and Control officers would be given the ability to dispatch an animal by shooting it. However, entrusting these individuals with a gun requires extensive resources, as officers will need to be trained, funded, and, by some means, controlled. Plus, many viable alternatives to shooting and killing an animal, such as humanely trapping or tranquilizing them, already exist.

This bill would also make the use of certain humane animal shelters and housing illegal. Any living accommodation for dogs must, as per BL2022-1252, have a solid level floor that is raised at least two inches above the ground. This would make many current animal shelters throughout the city of Nashville not eligible to house animals, and thousands of pets in already overcrowded shelters would have to be removed. But where will these animals go? Pet overpopulation is already a serious problem, not only in Nashville but throughout the entire U.S.. There are currently over 70 million homeless dogs and cats struggling to survive. Of these innocent animals, over 6 million end up in shelters each year, while about 1 million of them are killed due to a lack of space. Kicking these dogs and cats out of the shelters that provide them with basic necessities is almost like a death sentence for them. Not to mention “holding periods–”which are the minimum amount of time an animal must be housed in any shelter before which they may be euthanized–for impounded animals are inconsistent in BL2022-1252, with the terms “animals” and “any dog” having different requirements. The bill has many such inconsistencies that must be clarified before it could ever be passed and adhered to by the public.

Although this bill was temporarily withdrawn, legislators are considering a refile. Sign this petition to make sure BL2022-1252 is not refiled as it currently stands, and that problematic revisions to current animal safety laws and shelter practices be re-addressed.


Dear Vice Mayor Shulman,

Recently, BL2022-1252 was proposed–a bill yielding potentially devastating effects for animals in the city of Nashville. This bill suggests a series of problematic revisions to current animal control legislation. For example, owners–including responsible owners and rescuers–will be limited in the number of animals over 4-months of age that they can house per acre of land. Updates would also attack current safe housing accommodations for dogs by requiring that doghouses and other dog shelters must have a solid level floor raised above the ground by at least two inches. Such would render many shelters that currently provide safe havens for homeless dogs and cats “unsuitable” under the law. All of these updates seem counterintuitive in a state that already suffers immensely from extreme pet overpopulation and homelessness.

Even though Metro Animal Control has many shortcomings they must soon confront, this bill is not the solution and will only add to the chaos and confusion surrounding animal control. Much of the terminology in the bill is ambiguous and there are many inconsistencies and contradictions interlaced throughout its written body. For example, BL2022-1252 defines “holding periods”–which are the minimum amount of time an animal must be housed in any shelter before which they may be euthanized–for impounded “animals” differently than it does for “any dog.” Sections like these will likely result in public confusion and should be revised–to give animals the maximum amount of time to find a forever home– before any such bill is enacted.

We are asking you, Mr. Shulman, to please ensure that BL2022-1252 is never passed as it currently stands, and that any revisions made to current animal control and housing legislation are to better welfare standards.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nhandler

One Comment

  1. Just how stupid & cruel can you get? Despicable…

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