Animal Control

City of Etowah Municipal Codes: Animals


You can register your animals should you wish to do so at 

CITY HALL - Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Cost:  $5.00 per animal 

See Municipal code Chapter 90 below for all details.  Second Reading on Municipal Code Chapter 90 was held on May 18th, 2020 and is currently in effect.  

The re-codification will reflect with the 2021 Municipal Code reprint.  

Copies are available at City Hall upon request.  

For your protection please do not attempt to contain the animal yourself.  


Etowah Police Dispatch 423-263-7088. 

Details from the State of Tennessee as to Rabies

Title 68 - Health, Safety and Environmental Protection
Chapter 8 - Rabies
§ 68-8-103 - Vaccination of animals -- Certificate and tags

(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.

(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.

City of Etowah Municipal Code Chapter 90 - DOGS AND CATS 90.25 - 90.34


   (A)   It shall be a civil offense for any person to own, keep or harbor any dog more than three months old that has not been vaccinated against rabies as required in this section. Only a vaccine that meets the standards prescribed by the United States Department of Agriculture for interstate sale shall be used. The vaccination shall be made annually by or under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. The veterinarian making the vaccination shall collect his or her fee for the same from the owner of the dog, shall issue a vaccination tag and shall sign and issue a certificate bearing the owner’s name and address, number of the vaccination tag issued, date of vaccination, date the dog should be revaccinated, description and sex of the dog vaccinated and the type and lot number of vaccine administered. The certificate shall be prepared in triplicate; the original shall be given to the owner, the first copy filed in the office of the local Health Department, and the second copy retained by the person administering the vaccine. The certificate form shall be the same as prepared and distributed by the State Department of Public Health.

   (B)   It shall be unlawful for any owner to own, keep, harbor or to permit to remain on or about the premises of such owner any dog that does not wear a tag evidencing that the dog has been vaccinated.

(1994 Code, § 10-201)  (Ord. 409, passed 2-24-1986; Ord. 486, passed 4-1-1993; Ord. 494, passed 9-2-1993)  Penalty, see § 90.99


   (A)   Except as hereinafter expressly provided, all persons owning, or keeping any canine within the corporate limits, more than three months old, shall annually register it with the city and apply for a license for such canine. The registration fee shall be $5 per canine. The fee shall be due and payable within five days after the acquisition of such canine or the canine reaching three months of age and from that point forward for the canine’s life span within the city shall be renewed annually within five days of the original registration/expiration date. The city shall issue an annual license and tag for each canine whose owner pays the above registration fee and exhibits current proof of vaccination(s).

   (B)   (1)   Said proof of vaccination shall display the true and actual breed of said canine(s) or said canine(s) shall be presented for visual verification before the City Administration and/or Animal  Control. If said canine(s) after visual inspection of Animal  Control is deemed to present characteristics as set forth in Ord. 815 amending and adding the requirement of DNA testing.

      (2)   No person shall own, keep or harbor any dog which does not at all times wear current license and vaccination tags.

      (3)   In the event the license tag is lost, the city shall issue a duplicate tag for a fee of $2.

(1994 Code, § 10-202)  (Ord. 486, passed 4-1-1993; Ord. 494, passed 9-2-1993; Ord. 832, passed 4-22-2019)                               Penalty, see § 90.99


   It shall be a civil offense for any person to knowingly or negligently permit any dog owned by him or her or under his or her control to run at large within the corporate limits. A dog shall be deemed to be running at large when it goes uncontrolled by the owner upon the premises of another without the consent of the owner of the premises or other person authorized to give consent or goes uncontrolled by the owner upon a highway, public road, street or any other place open to the public generally.

(1994 Code, § 10-203)  (Ord. 409, passed 2-24-1986; Ord. 494, passed 9-2-1993; Ord. 750, passed 12-16-2013)  Penalty, see § 90.99


   (A)   (1)   It shall be a civil offense for any person to own or keep any dog known to be vicious or dangerous unless such dog is so confined and/or otherwise securely restrained as to reasonably provide for the protection of other animals  and persons.

      (2)   If a dog or cat attacks a person by biting or in any manner causing injury or habitually or repeatedly attacks livestock or other domestic animals  without provocation, it shall be prima facie evidence that the dog or cat is vicious.

      (3)   After a notification by the animal  control officer that the dog or cat is vicious, the owner or keeper of such dog or cat shall keep the same chained or muzzled, or in a secure enclosure at all times, or have it humanely destroyed or shall turn it over to the animal  shelter for humane destruction.

   (B)   (1)   Any person who receives such a notice shall have the right to appeal this decision to the City Manager.

      (2)   The City Manager or his or her representative shall, upon such appeal, conduct a hearing within ten days to determine if the animal  is vicious. If the animal  is judged not to be vicious, it may be returned to the owner.

      (3)   In the event of an appeal to the courts from the City Manager’s or his or her representative’s decision, pending the appeal, the dog or cat shall be confined at the animal  shelter or with a veterinarian, the cost of which shall be borne by the owner.

(1994 Code, § 10-204)  (Ord. 409, passed 2-24-1986; Ord. 494, passed 9-2-1993)  Penalty, see § 90.99


   It shall be a civil offense for any person to keep or harbor any dog which, by loud and frequent barking, whining or howling, disturbs the peace and quiet of any neighborhood.

(1994 Code, § 10-205)  (Ord. 409, passed 2-24-1986; Ord. 494, passed 9-2-1993)  Penalty, see § 90.99


   (A)   The actions of a dog or cat constitute a nuisance when a dog or cat disturbs the rights of, threatens the safety of or damages the property of or injures the person or a member of the general public or interferes with the ordinary use and enjoyment of his or her property.

   (B)   It shall be a civil offense for any person to own, keep, possess or maintain a dog or cat in such a manner as to constitute a public nuisance. By way of example and not a limitation, the following acts or actions by an owner or possessor of an animal  are hereby declared to be a public nuisance and, therefore, unlawful:

      (1)   Failure to exercise sufficient restraint necessary to control a dog or cat;

      (2)   Allowing or permitting a dog or cat to damage the property of any one other than its owner, including, but not limited to, turning over garbage containers or damaging gardens, shrubs, lawns, flowers or vegetables;

      (3)   Maintain a vicious dog or cat (see § 90.28 of this chapter);

      (4)   Maintaining dogs or cats in a unsanitary environment which results in offensive odors or is dangerous to the animal  or the public health, welfare or safety;

      (5)   Maintaining property in a manner that is offensive, annoying or dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare because of the number, type, variety, density or location of the dogs or cats on the property;

      (6)   Maintaining a dog or cat that is diseased or dangerous to the public health;

      (7)   Maintaining a dog or cat that habitually or repeatedly chases, snaps at, attacks or barks at pedestrians, bicycles or vehicles; and/or

      (8)   Failure to confine a female dog while in heat for 24 days in a building or secure enclosure in such a manner that she will not be in contact with another dog, or create a nuisance by attracting other dogs. This division (B)(8) shall not be construed to prohibit the intentional breeding of dogs within an enclosed area on the premises of the owner of the dog which is being bred.

(1994 Code, § 10-206)  (Ord. 409, passed 2-24-1986; Ord. 494, passed 9-2-1993)  Penalty, see § 90.99


   It shall be the duty of any person owning, maintaining or harboring any dog or cat to maintain close personal supervision of said animal  and ignorance of the habits or character of the dog or cat on the part of such person shall be no defense in actions arising under this chapter.

(1994 Code, § 10-207)  (Ord. 409, passed 2-24-1986)


   The City Manager shall establish a dog pound for keeping impounded dogs. The pound may be operated directly by the city or it may be operated by a veterinarian or other suitable person under a contract with the city.

(1994 Code, § 10-208)  (Ord. 409, passed 2-24-1986)


   (A)   Impoundment of animals  running at large.

      (1)   It shall be the duty of the Animal  Control Officer or his or her duly authorized representative to apprehend any animal  found running at large contrary to the provisions of this chapter and impound such animal  in the city animal  shelter.

      (2)   The owner of an impounded animal  shall be notified to appear within seven days from the date of notice to the owner, to redeem the animal  by payment of the required fees. DAYS are defined as days the animal  shelter is open. All provisions of this section may be included in the contract with a veterinarian for operation of a dog pound.

      (3)   Any animal  not claimed within the times provided may be either destroyed or sold.

      (4)   The impoundment of an animal  under this section shall not relieve the owner thereof from prosecution for permitting such animal  to run at large in violation of § 90.27 of this chapter.

      (5)   In addition to, or in lieu of, apprehending and impounding an animal  found at large, the animal  control officer, upon determining the owner, may return the animal  to the owner and issue a summons requiring the owner to appear in city court for determination of whether or not there has been a violation within the meaning of § 90.27 of this chapter.

(1994 Code, § 10-209)

   (B)   Impoundment and other fees in connection with animal  shelter.

      (1)   The City Manager is directed to establish fees for the apprehension of any animals  running at large, for the impoundment of animals  at the city animal  shelter, for the redemption of animals  impounded under the provisions of this chapter, and for the disposal of animals  which are to be adopted by new owners. The City Manager may set different fees for different sizes, sexes and kinds of animals  and different fees for registered and unregistered animals . Such fees, in all events, shall be sufficient for the city to recover its costs incurred in the administration of this chapter.

      (2)   Before any fee authorized by this section shall be levied or amended, it must be published in a local newspaper of general circulation at least five days before it shall become effective.

(1994 Code, § 10-210)

(Ord. 409, passed 2-24-1986; Ord. 494, passed 9-2-1993)


   All funds collected under the provisions of this chapter, including license fees, redemption charges and civil penalties shall be paid into the General Fund of the city.

(1994 Code, § 10-211)  (Ord. 409, passed 2-24-1986; Ord. 494, passed 9-2-1993)


Animal Control Dispatch 423-263-7088

If you are in need of animal control assistance or notice any of the following please contact Animal Control Immediately. 

  • Vicious Animals
  • Animals running at large
  • Sick or injured animals
  • Animals (Wild or domestic) asking out of the norm such as:  Flipping out of control, foaming or drooling from mouth, acting aggressive to other animals or persons 
  • Known animals that are not legal to own within the City of Etowah