Anyone who has pets and lives in urban RWAs or apartments would be well aware of the hostility often meted out to dogs and dog lovers. Not only do many RWA's have rules about 'banning' pets and many dog lovers even get harassed for feeding strays on roads.
In 2017, two women in Mumbai was assaulted for feeding stray dogs. In May this year, a Kashmiri family was beaten for feeding stray dogs. Many housing societies and flat owners do not allow tenants with pets to live there. With the problem of stray dog bites becoming a menace in many modern cities, shaky residential pet laws have made problems worse, leaving dogs and dog lovers defenseless in the face of hostility.
However, a Twitter account by the name of ‘Nyaaya’ which recently went viral after it started explaining tough laws in a simplified format on social media is back at it again and this time they have some good news for animal lovers.
They posted a Twitter thread about the laws concerning pets and street dogs in India, clarifying the rights and responsibilities of pet owners as well as those who feed and care for street dogs.
Dog lovers, pet owners and people who care for street dogs, you need to read this. So one of our team recently had issues with their housing society regarding feeding street dogs... pic.twitter.com/ja4JJeXsNp
— Nyaaya (@NyaayaIN) August 9, 2018
'Nyaaya' recently posted a tweet-thread in which it shared the laws set out by the Indian government regarding pets and strays. The Animal Welfare Board of India has set out clear guidelines for pet owners and those who feed stray dogs inside Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) and Apartment Owners’ Associations (AOA). According to the guidelines, no amount of pressure from RWA or society can be adequate for abandoning a pet animal and doing so is a punishable offence. RWAs or AOAs also do not have the right to deny pet owners use of elevators and other public resources such as parks. RWAs and AOAs also cannot create any by-laws to implement bans or restrictions on residents getting pet dogs, or even discriminate upon the size or breed of the dog. All dogs are equally legally permitted. The Board also sets out guidelines for caregivers of stray dogs, asking them to follow hygienic feeding techniques when feeding strays in public and ensuring that strays are not fed in the vicinity of children’s playgrounds or heavily crowded areas. The guidelines urge care givers to clean up after feeding the dog. Lately, stray dogs were responsible for a spate of child deaths in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur. The AWBI guidelines spell out that feeding strays was a legally protected activity and also encourage caregivers and feeders to get these dogs vaccinated and sterilized. However, pet owners complain that the laws, though spelt out, are not adequately implemented to the benefit of animals and pet owners. A Twitter user said that though there were laws, not many were being followed the way they should be.
There is a Delhi HC ruling suggesting Awbi to identify spots for feeding strays , why that hasn’t been taken into account yet ? # — Arunima Singh (@arunimaranjan) August 9, 2018
In name of feeding strays dogs are given glucose biscuits that too without taking off their wrappers, stale leftovers which makes us cringe , food being littered all over the place staircase , driveways , lobbies n the moment one points out the law is shoved on .
— Arunima Singh (@arunimaranjan) August 9, 2018