Did you know these guidelines for pet-owners or caregivers?
Everyone is equal in the eyes of law. The duty to show compassion to all living creature is also enshrined under Article 51A(g) of the Constitution of India.
Hi friends, in my previous blog, I highlighted the importance of dogs in our day-to-day lives i.e. how dogs have benefitted us in multiple ways ranging from health benefits to the social and attitudinal development of people. I also shared some examples of dog heroism from our day-to-day life and encouraged people to share their dog heroism stories with us. The response was amazing, as our social media channels got flooded with the dog stories, selfies, and photos demonstrating love towards your lovable dog.
As the number of people keeping dogs as pets is increasing, and as caregivers are increasingly showing affection for stray dogs by feeding them, providing veterinary and other support; conflicts also sometimes occur between these pet-owners and caregivers of stray dogs, on one hand, and the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and Apartment Owner Associations (AOAs) on the other hand.
Article 51A(g) of the Constitution of India
Everyone is equal in the eyes of law. The duty to show compassion to all living creature is also enshrined under Article 51A(g) of the Constitution of India that calls upon all the citizens of this country and the law of land to protect the rights of non-humans. Dogs, as non-humans, also possess these rights and therefore, it is essential for all to know that Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) have laid down certain guidelines for the pet-owners and caregivers that aims to protect the rights of these dogs.
Guidelines for Pet-Owners:
- Pet-owners have the right to consider their pets as family members. However, they are advised to ensure that their pets are not a source of nuisance to others.
- Barking is a natural form of expression for a dog and has to be tolerated in society. However, it is the duty of the owner to make every effort to keep his dogs quiet, particularly during night hours.
- Pet-owners should also ensure that their pets are healthy, clean and given regular vaccinations. Sterilization is advised as our country has excessive dog population.
- Pet-owners, caregivers or dog walkers are advised to clean-up when the pet defecates in public premises and participate in other solutions for maintaining the cleanliness. They are advised to take initiatives to discuss with their RWAs and AOAs, ways and means to dispose-off pet excreta.
- Pet-owners are advised to keep their pets always on a leash in public places. It ensures the safety of the pet from being run over by vehicles on streets, or worse still, being the cause of accidents. It also assures passersby that they are safe and makes them more comfortable when the pet is on the leash.
- A pet-owner cannot be debarred by RWAs or AOAs from the use of lifts or elevators for his/ her pets. However, it is also advised for pet-owners not to object to the use of ‘alternate lifts’ if there is more than one working lift or elevator in a building, which is conveniently accessible.
Guidelines for Care-Givers of stray dogs:
- Caregivers feeding stray dogs are advised to participate in sterilization and yearly vaccination of these dogs since they know and win the trust of the dogs by feeding them. They are also advised to provide or to assist animal welfare organizations in providing health care to them.
- Caregivers are advised not to feed stray dogs close to residences. They are also advised to avoid feeding stray dogs immediately adjacent to areas where children play, people take walks, or that are otherwise crowded. Moreover, feeding should not contribute to the littering or dirtying any feeding site. Caregivers are advised to clean up feeding sites after feeding is over.
- Caregivers are advised to keep sterilization and vaccination status of the dogs they are feeding and caring for, updated and readily accessible. Sharing the same with their RWAS, AOAs or other residents, generate positivity, and greater acceptability of the dogs.
- Caregivers cannot control the defecation habits of stray dogs. However, they are advised to participate in other solutions for maintaining cleanliness.
Ahimsa and Non-violence
Our country endorses the virtues of ahimsa and non-violence and these doctrines have always enabled people to live peacefully and co-exist with animals. There is a law for everything as it helps us to regulate and keep a check on everything. It makes people more obedient and responsible. I hope you will find these guidelines helpful in making life better for our dogs by vaccinating/ sterilizing them and making this world peaceful and friendly too.
In my next blog, I will be sharing the guidelines for Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and Apartment Owner Associations (AWAs) with respect to the pet-dogs and stray dogs. Stay tuned for more updates on #Betterwithdogs and do share your views on this write-up.