Pet Parents Face Pressure from Resident Bodies, Authorities Amid Spike in Dog Attacks

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi on Sunday asked residents to get their pets registered in view of “rising incidents of dog-bite” in the national capital region, and warned that action can be taken for non-compliance of the norm.

Senior officials of the veterinary department of MCD said that Delhi Municipal Corporation Act mandates registration of pet dogs with civic body, but “residents have remained reluctant to come forward to get their pets registered”.

Pet parents have begun facing pressure not just from corporation authorities but also resident associations. Recent weeks saw around three cases of dog attacks, especially in Noida high-rises. Following such incidents, resident welfare associations (RWAs) have issued a slew of arbitrary notices and illegal fines to dog owners.

Resident Welfare Association Notices

Some of the societies that have already issued guidelines are Orange County in Ghaziabad, Prateek Wisteria in Noida and ATS Paradiso in Greater Noida.
RWA of ATS Paradiso Greater Noida high rise has issued a fine worth Rs 500 including GST to at least two dog owners. One was fined for her dog’s peeing, and another was fined for taking her dog in the lift, an India Today report said.

In Charms County Society, where a dog bit a child in the elevator recently, the association has asked all pet parents to not use the lift with their pooches and also put a muzzle on dogs while taking them out for a walk.

Due to the buzz around dog attacks and these notices, there has also been an increase in harassment of dog owners. Kaveri Rana Bhardwaj, a renowned animal rights activist, told India Today that there has been a spike in harassment of dog owners in Noida after a couple of dog bite incidents were reported in the vicinity.

“Dog owners are being harassed for no reason. Many residents are looking for a chance to engage with dog owners and harass them through the RWAs. No dog shall be muzzled if he/she is not aggressive. In such humid weather, dogs need to breathe properly with an open mouth,” Bharadwaj said.

Delhi Municipal Corporation’s Appeal to Dog Owners

The MCD urged citizens to get their pet dogs registered. “Under the section 399 of Delhi Municipal Act 1957, it is mandatory to register all pet dogs with the municipal corporation. The section also gives power to the MCD to detain a dog found in a public place, if a pet dog is not registered with the civic body,” the civic body said in a statement.

There is also a provision of fining pet-owner and even carrying out prosecution, it said. “We appeal to citizens to get their pet dogs registered at the earliest, otherwise appropriate action can be taken as per DMC Act. The rule applies even to those who have adopted stray dogs as pets,” it added.

He said that the registration process helps in maintaining the exact count of pet dogs that are vaccinated against the rabies virus, in different zones. It will help in tracing a missing pet with the help of a registration number that the dog will sport.

The purpose of the exercise is to prepare a database of pet dog owners, control illegal practices like unregistered dog breeding, and monitor pet’s vaccination schedules, the statement said.

Dog Owner Arrested in Lucknow

Although Noida has been the most number of attacks the last few days, there have also been dog bite cases reported from Lucknow. An arrest was made in connection an incident in which a pitbull bit a man his in private parts.

Lucknow Police on September 11 arrested a dog owner on the complaint of the injured person, who said the dog bit his private parts outside the house of the accused in Prem Nagar when the he was returning home from a Jagran at around 10.30 p.m. on September 3.

“I started bleeding profusely and rushed to the nearby Lok Bandhu hospital to get first aid. I was later shifted to the KGMU for further treatment. The doctors there told me that my bladder tube had been damaged due to deep dog bite and would take a long time to heal. I was admitted to the hospital for around four days and lodged the FIR after returning from there,” the complainant said.

‘Improper Breeding, Lack of Exercise’

Dev Rawat, who is a freelancer and has been working in dog training since 1995, told IANS, “The biggest problem is that the dogs are not fed properly and they get less travel. Often people rear a dog because of a hobby, but because of their jobs, they keep the dogs locked in the house throughout the day. Because of this, the dog starts becoming irritable.”

Pointing out that dogs these days are trained poorly, Rawat said, “No breed of dog is dangerous, how they are raised is more important. Being tied up in the house all the time is one reason dogs bite.”

Gauri Maulekhi, trustee of People for Animals, raised the issue of having “exotic” dogs that are not suited for Indian weather. “Recent incidents of dog bites show that such dogs should not be sold. Many species of exotic dogs are not adapted to live in the Indian environment. The government of India had made dog breeding rules in 2017, but the rules are not being followed properly,” Maulekhi told IANS.

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