Pets are now becoming an integral part of families living in apartments throughout India. Several studies show that owning a pet has many health benefits and is a sign of a more compassionate society. Regardless of this, many homeowners and tenants face resistance from their neighbours or building associations for keeping pets. Today there are stringent laws in place to safeguard families from any kind of harassment that may arise due to owning a pet.
According to the Indian Constitution, Article 51 (g), it is the responsibility of every citizen to behave compassionately towards living creature and animals and Section 11(3) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, states that it is illegal for housing societies to pass a resolution to disallow pets. But despite the law, not many know about it.
We look at a few key rules from the Animal Welfare Board of India to help pet owners.
- Any ban on keeping pets cannot be introduced by society by amending the by-laws.
- Having pets at home is a fundamental freedom guaranteed to the citizens of India as per the constitution.
- By keeping pets in apartment and residents, owners of the pets are not violating any municipal law.
- Hostility or aggressive behaviour towards a pet that may lead pets to embrace aggressive behaviour is not allowed.
- Pets cannot be banned from using lifts. RWAs (Resident Welfare Association) cannot enforce charges on pet owners for using lifts with their pets either.
- The barking of pet dogs won’t be considered as a valid reason to ban dogs from an apartment. That said, pet owners are advised to try their best to keep their dogs quiet, especially at night.
- The society cannot pass any notice regarding the size or breed of dogs.
Guidelines for pet owners
- Pet owners rightly can consider their pets as family members, but they have to ensure their pets don’t cause inconvenience to others.
- Pet owners can be requested to clean up after pets defecate or they can be trained to use a specified defecation area. It will help to keep the premises clean and the other members’ happy.
- Pets should be kept clean, healthy and vaccinated. Pet owners should be aware that housing society can file a case against a negligent pet owner.
- Even on walks within the premises or in any other common area, the animal has to be on a leash and accompanied by the owner at all times so that others feel safe.
While owning a pet is a big responsibility, the experience makes it worthwhile. Despite the fact that owning a pet may not be for everyone, pets no doubt add a positive life experience for everyone around them.
To learn more about the laws for pet owners in India, check out the link – http://awbi.in/awbi-pdf/pet_dog_circular_26_2_2015.pdf