University of Vermont AAHS

Tennessee Liens for Service to Horses


NOTE:  Tennessee has a veterinarian's and breeder's lien.  It has a blacksmith's lien that is designed for metalwork done by blacksmiths on vehicles and other articles, rather than horseshoeing.  However, the agister's lien, here part of the breeder's lien, is broad enough to cover horses left in the care of a farrier for shoeing.

I. Veterinarian's Lien



63-12-134 Lien for services.

(a) Every licensed veterinarian has a lien on each animal or pet treated, boarded or cared for by the veterinarian while in the veterinarian's custody and under contract with the owner of such animal or pet for payment of charges for treatment, board or care of such animal or pet. Such veterinarian has the right to retain such animal or pet until such charges are paid.

(b)(1) If the charges due for the services named in this section are not paid within ten (10) days after demand therefor on the owner of such animal or pet, in person, or by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested, addressed to the owner at the address given when such animal or pet is delivered, and the receipt has been returned by the United States postal authorities, such animal or pet shall be deemed to be abandoned and the licensed veterinarian is authorized to sell the animal or pet either at public or private sale, and if the veterinarian does not succeed in selling such animal or pet within ten (10) days, then the veterinarian is authorized to dispose of such animal or pet in any manner that the veterinarian deems proper or turn the animal or pet over to the nearest humane society or dog pound in the area for disposal as such custodian deems proper.

(2) An animal shall also be considered abandoned by its owner if the owner gives a licensed veterinarian a false address and telephone number and the demand mailed by the licensed veterinarian registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, is returned undelivered. Under the circumstances provided in this subdivision, the licensed veterinarian may consider the animal abandoned when the veterinarian receives notice that the mailed demand is undeliverable, and the licensed veterinarian may dispose of the animal as provided in subdivision (b)(1). As an alternative, the licensed veterinarian may turn the animal or pet over to the nearest humane society or animal control shelter in the area for disposition of the animal as such custodian deems proper without first offering the animal or pet for sale.

(c) The giving of notice to the owners, as provided herein, relieves the licensed veterinarian, or any custodian to whom such animal or pet may be given, of any further liability for disposal.

(d) Failure of the owner of any such animal or pet to receive the demand by registered or certified mail provided for in this section does not render the licensed veterinarian liable to the owner of such animal or pet for the disposal thereof in any manner provided in this section.

(e) When any animal or pet is sold as authorized in this law to satisfy a lien for any of the services enumerated, any moneys realized from the sale, less such charges, and any expenses incurred in making the demand for payment thereof in connection with the sale, shall be paid to the owner of the animal or pet.

(f) No legal proceeding for the enforcement of the lien created by this law is necessary concerning abandoned animals as defined in subsection (b), other than compliance with the requirements herein provided.

II. Farrier's Lien



66-14-101 Right to sell unclaimed articles left for repairs.

(a) Silversmiths, lock and gunsmiths, blacksmiths, watchmakers and repairers, and artisans generally, who do work for the public, shall have the common law lien, and the right, at the expiration of six (6) months from the time of the contract and leaving with them the goods or products to be repaired, developed, processed or improved, if not claimed or called for by the owner, to sell the same at public outcry after complying with the provisions of this chapter.

(b) "Artisans" are further defined as including persons who make, clean, mend, repair, alter or otherwise perform work on shoes or boots, as well as persons with whom are left goods or products to be repaired, developed, processed, or improved.

(c) The lien established by this section shall not apply to work performed on a "motor vehicle" as defined in 55-12-102.


III. Agister's and Breeder's Liens



66-20-101 Pasturage lien.

When any horse or other animal is received to pasture for a consideration, the farmer shall have a lien upon the animal for the farmer's proper charges, the same as the innkeeper's lien at common law; and in addition the farmer shall have a statutory lien for six (6) months.

66-20-102 Lien on female for service of male.

(a) Where the lien for pasturage shall occur in virtue of 66-20-101, the charges shall include also those for the service of any jack, bull, ram, or boar; provided, that the charge for the service of such animal to the female shall have been agreed upon between the parties.

(b) The provisions of this section shall likewise include the service of any stud or stallion.

66-20-103 Livery stable keeper's lien.

Livery stable keepers shall be entitled to the same lien provided for in 66-20-101 on all stock received by them for board and feed, or vehicle kept and/or conditioned, until all reasonable charges are paid.

66-20-104 Lien on offspring for service of male.

(a) Any person keeping a jack, bull, ram, or boar, for public use, shall have a lien on the offspring of the same for the season charge to be paid.

(b) The provisions of this section shall likewise include the service of any stud or stallion.

66-20-105 Duration of lien on offspring.

(a) The lien provided for in 66-20-104, so far as it affects the offspring of jacks and bulls shall exist for two (2) years from the birth of such offspring and so far as it affects rams and boars shall continue for twelve (12) months from the birth of such offspring.

(b) The provisions of this section shall likewise include the service of any stud or stallion.

66-20-107 Lien on female and offspring for artificial insemination.

(a) When any female animal is inseminated by artificial means for a fee, the person providing the service shall have for a charge a lien on the female and on any offspring resulting from such service.

(b) The duration of the lien on offspring shall be for twelve (12) months from the date of birth of such offspring.


Amended in 1998.
Reviewed by AAHS in August 2001.

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