‘Pet akin to a toddler,’ says law
Welcome To CitySpidey


‘Pet akin to a toddler,’ says law

After DLF Ridgewood Estate in Gurgaon banned the entry of pets in the society parks, animal rights organisations come to rescue to say that RWAs cannot pass whimsical laws, and if they do, such diktats are not legally binding.

‘Pet akin to a toddler,’ says law Picture used for representative purpose only

A recent spat between the RWA and residents over pet dogs in Gurgaon has sparked off another debate between pet lovers and pet haters. DLF Ridgewood Estate, a residential society in DLF Phase IV of Gurgaon, had recently banned entry of pets in the society parks.  

However, clear-cut guidelines issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWB) says, "Pet owners rightly consider their pets as family members. A pet is akin to a perennial toddler, and therefore, deserves the same attention throughout its life as that reserved for a human toddler during infancy. However, pet owners are advised to ensure that their pets are not a source of nuisance to others. In doing so, they may, however, distinguish between reasonable and unreasonable, and lawful and unlawful claims as to their pets being a source of nuisance; and no amount of pressure should lead to an abandonment of a pet animal. Doing so is a violation of law."

Similar sentiments have been echoed by People for Animals (PFA), a society chaired by none other than Maneka Gandhi, an avid animal lover, and Union Minister for Women and Child Development. It also maintains that a dog is as good as a family member and should also be treated like one.

Amit Chaudhery of PFA, Gurgaon, told City Spidey that RWAs neither have any constitutional powers nor the authority to pass any law. He adds that as they have no legal standing, any diktat passed by them has no legal sanctity.

He added that RWAs, at times, tend to pass illegal, aggressive and arrogant orders, which are hardly binding on residents. He elaborated that making residents accountable for defecation of their pets in common areas of societies is a good step, but a blanket ban on walking pets in parks of the society cannot be justified.

Chaudhery also added that if residents of a particular society fail to resolve the issue within themselves, the PFA would certainly intervene in accordance with the law of the land. 

Speaking to City Spidey, Anjali Sharma, a member of Animal Welfare Board and a member of SPCA Noida, said that bodies like RWAs do not have the right to make laws and impose them. She compared the situation with a condition where bodies like RWAs started making laws banning girls from entering parks. "They cannot do that because rules are made in the parliament and an RWA is nothing but a maintenance body. It is completely illegal and the RWA has no right to do so. In case of a threat from a pet dog, there are ways of managing it like putting it on a leash," she added.