In Knox County, there are five relevant sources of animal law:
- Federal statutes
- Regulations from federal agencies
- Tennessee State law
- Knox County law
- Knoxville City law
Each source of law listed above cannot be more liberal than the one above it. That is, federal statutes are binding on regulations of federal agencies, those regulations are binding on state law, and so on. However, city law is not binding on county law, county law is not binding on state law, and so on. Therefore, the city of Knoxville is free to enact and enforce animal laws as long as those laws (usually referred to as “ordinances”) do not violate the laws of Knox County, the state of Tennessee, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the United States. Below is information about each of the five sources of animal law relevant to people living in Knox County. Also included are links to download all relevant laws.