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Office of Animal Welfare

walking the dog

The Tennessee Department of Health’s Office of Animal Welfare was established to ensure compliance with the Commercial Breeders Law. The Commercial Breeders Law regulates Tennessee’s cat and dog breeders. Passed in 2009, the law requires licensure for individuals owning 20 or more unsterilized cats or dogs for the purpose of selling the offspring as companion animals. The law also includes requirements for standards of care, conditions and inspection of premises and completion of an annual report. Those found to be in violation of the law stand to face disciplinary action and/or civil penalties.


Recently the Office of Animal Welfare assumed the responsibility of ensuring compliance with the Dog and Cat Dealer Law, formerly carried out by the Division of Regulatory Services of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. This law requires licensure for individuals who buy or sell more than 24 dogs or cats per year for resale. It also requires licensure for individuals who buy or sell any dogs or cats at flea markets, and requires licensure for individuals who transport dogs or cats for compensation or profit. This law also includes requirements for standards of care, conditions and inspection of premises, and completion of semi-annual reports. Those found to be in violation of the law stand to face disciplinary action and/or civil or criminal penalties.

Commercial Breeder Licensure

Fees

The application and license fee is as follows:

  • 20 to 40 unsterilized adult female cats or dogs -- $500
  • 41 or more unsterilized adult female cats or dogs -- $1,000

Renewal fee is as follows:

  • 20 to 40 unsterilized adult female cats or dogs -- $500
  • 41 or more unsterilized adult female cats or dogs -- $1,000

To receive a duplicate license, the cost is $25.

Apply to be a Tennessee Commercial Breeder

Individuals interested in applying as a commercial breeder should download, complete and submit the application.

Click to download the application. (PH-4105)

As a part of the application process, you must complete a background check. Instructions are available here.

Check this website regularly for updates.

Links

Dog and Cat Dealer Licensure

Fees

  • Dealer license fee to sell dogs or cats to research facilities — one hundred and twenty-five dollars ($125)
  • Dealer license fee (wholesale) to sell dogs or cats for resale — one hundred and twenty-five dollars ($125)
  • Dealer license fee (retail) to buy dogs or cats for resale to be assessed as follows:
    • Transactions of up to 50 animals per year — one hundred and twenty-five dollars ($125)
    • Transactions of 51 to 150 animals per year — two hundred and fifty dollars ($250)
    • Transactions of 151 to 300 animals per year — five hundred dollars ($500)
    • Transactions of 301 to 500 animals per year — seven hundred and fifty dollars ($750;
    • Transactions of more than 500 animals per year — one thousand dollars ($1,000)
    • Dealer license fee to transport dogs or cats in commerce — one hundred and twenty-five dollars ($125)

Links

Contact
For more information, call toll free 1-877-403-7350 or 615-532-7350