Johnson City, Tennessee

This ordinance requires that dogs and cats who are 6 months of age or older be spayed or neutered, with exceptions detailed.


10-201. Spaying and neutering requirements. Any person owning, keeping, harboring, or having custody of any dog or cat six (6) months of age or older is required to spay or neuter said animal, except:
(1) Persons who own, keep, harbor, or have custody of registered service dogs or working police dogs;
(2) Persons who are nonresidents of the city and reside temporarily herein for a period not to exceed a total of thirty (30) days within a twelve (12) month period;
(3) Animal shelters and veterinary hospitals;
(4) Persons who own, keep, harbor, or have custody of a dog or cat and who are in possession of a certification signed by a licensed veterinarian stating that the animal is unfit to be spayed or neutered because the procedure would endanger the life of or be detrimental to the health or well-being of the animal;
(5) A “commercial breeder” which is defined as any person licensed as such by the State of Tennessee, who possesses or maintains, under his or her immediate control, twenty (20) or more unsterilized adult female dogs or cats in this city for the purpose of selling the offspring as companion animals. “Commercial breeder” does not include any person who possesses or maintains, under his or her immediate control, dogs or cats in this city:
(a) For the primary purpose of:
(i) The practice of veterinary medicine;
(ii) Hunting as defined in Tennessee Code Annotated, § 70-1-101(a)(19); or
(iii) Training and/or handling; or
(b) For the exclusive purpose of engaging in the business of boarding and/or grooming; and
(6) Persons who hold an unaltered animal permit for a particular dog or cat issued prior to any enforcement under § 10-203 below by the Washington County/Johnson City Animal Control Center or any successor agency authorized by law to issue said permit shall have a valid permit for the life of the animal. Persons who obtain an unaltered permit in conjunction with the first enforcement under § 10-203 below shall have a valid unaltered permit, unless a subsequent enforcement action occurs involving the same animal, in which case the unaltered permit shall become void automatically. (as added by Ord. #4513-13, Dec. 2013)

10-202. Obtaining an unaltered permit. Applicants for unaltered permits must apply to the Washington County/Johnson City Animal Control Center. The fee for the unaltered animal permit shall be twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per animal. A certificate will be issued identifying each animal as an unaltered animal and must be available for inspection at all times. (as added by
Ord. #4513-13, Dec. 2013)

Back to Search

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind