Harmony Between pet Owners and Residents

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Bangalore Apartments’ Federation has come up with a new Regulation for pet Ownership

By –  SA Gayatri

Bangalore, Jan. 17, 2019: There have been increasing cases of clashes between pet owners and other residents in apartments. Bangalore Apartments’ Federation (BAF), which is a federation that represents the interests of hundreds of apartment complexes, and many apartment residents across Bangalore, has recently given a note that outlines guidelines for owning pets in apartments and complexes.

Animal right activists and animal lovers, as well as people who had problems with pet owners in the past, gave inputs in the note preparation. This is a preventive and practical initiative by BAF for addressing lack of knowledge, and to resolve conflicts between both apartment associations and pet owners from possible violations of the law.

Sandhya, council Representative of BAF and a pet owner, says “Owning a pet is itself a responsibility, there comes a lot of things, which a pet owner has to keep in mind. They are supposed to care by ensuring that the pets are secured and are under supervision when in public places, and also one should take up the cleaning responsibility if they defecate in public areas”.

There have been cases where pet owners are asked to leave their pets, which is illegal. This increases the chances of criminal offences for the pet owners and people who have influenced or forced them to abandon their pets.

The guideline is meant to act as a framework for pet owners, apartment residents, and the committees managing the associations to make laws and regulations for pet ownership that wiil be beneficial for the people as well as the pets.

Shanti K, a resident, BAF says, “ it’s a good step to maintain relationship between normal residents and pet owners, for a person like me who is scared of animals, this is a productive yet harmonious initiative for those animals and humans as well“.

Some of the guiding principles were:

  • Animals and pets have right of existence / right to space just as human beings do
  • Societies and communities should be animal / pet-friendly
  • Associations and pet owners should engage collaboratively to create a framework for peaceful co-existence

According to Article 51A (g) of the Indian Constitution,

It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures.

According to the note ‘The legal aspects of pet ownership ‘Citizens have the right to own pets whether living in individual houses or apartments and cannot be denied the right by anybody.

Apartment Associations need to frame their bylaws to regulate pet ownership within the constitutional framework. There are other guidelines for both pet owners and apartment associations like the pet owners shall take efforts to keep the pets quiet, especially at night, shall keep their pets away from the people who fear animals, take care about health and hygiene of the pets, abide to all the rules properly.

The apartment associations also have rules, such as not charging extra fees from the pet owners, imposing fines and taking action only on pet owners who violates the laws, creation of spaces for pets to walk and play freely and educating residents about not abandoning a pet.

According to Priya Rajagopal, animal rights activist in Bengaluru, “This note can be a very essential step to make sure that these apartment associations, pet owners, and rest of the residents come to peaceful decisions about the pets. Pets and humans share a very convincible bond that reflects love in the society. This can create a peace between all and one can try to understand the poor animals instead of just abandoning them.