The Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Regulation of Dogs and Cats in Williamson County, Tennessee


The Animal Control Officers (ACOs) employed by Williamson County are charged with protecting the public by enforcing state laws and local ordinances concerning animals. These include dogs running at large and stray animals.


Animal control officers undergo training in the following areas:

  • First aid
  • Law enforcement
  • Search and rescue techniques
  • Humane trapping
  • Animal removal
  • Cruelty, abuse and hoarding investigations

Officers at WCAC are members of the National Animal Care and Control Association (NACA), which creates high standards and guidelines for ACOs. Officers attend ongoing educational courses sponsored by NACA and as well as other organizations.


The impound area of WCAC is a holding area for pets. All impounded animals are vaccinated and medically evaluated upon entering the shelter. 

Types of pets housed here include:

  • Surrendered animals
  • Strays that have been picked up by citizens or officers
  • Animals being held for resolution of a legal case
  • Animals under required observation
  • Injured animals and other reasons

By law, animals running at large in Williamson County are impounded. If a tag or microchip is present, the owner is contacted. Pets are held for 5 days before evaluation and disposition. Dog owners who claim impounded pets that have been running at large are subject to fines and penalties that escalate in severity with each violation.

Dog Bites

Officers conduct field investigations of all reported dog bites, and may legally impound the pet for up to 10 days pending resolution of all possible health issues.

Owners must produce valid medical records of rabies vaccinations or be subject to fines.

Abuse & Neglect

Animal control officers are bound by law to protect the welfare of domestic animals by investigating all complaints of cruelty and neglect. The public is encouraged to report any suspected abuse to the dispatch center.

Officers investigate each situation and work with local law enforcement to take appropriate legal action against the owners as deemed necessary. All impounded animals are cared for by the center until legally released for disposition. Please contact an animal control officer at 615-790-5590, ext. 2 to report abuse or neglect.