The Karnataka government has released a new circular reiterating basic pet and stray dog rights. Here’s what RWAs should remember.
The Karnataka government has released a new circular as a timely reminder to authorities regarding the rights of strays, pets, and stray dog feeders. Resident Welfare Associations, or RWAs, must enforce these rules to reduce human-animal conflict in their areas.
Let’s go through our favourite Article in the Constitution again- you can learn it by-heart if you want:
“It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have compassion for all living creatures.” (Article 15 (G) of the Constitution of India.)
Both pets and strays protected
As reasoned in the circular, the pet owners population and also stray dog caretaker numbers is only increasing. Fortunately, the number of pet adopters is also increasing due to more awareness and education. It is unconstitutional for Apartment Owners Associations (AOAs) and Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) to ban pets from building complexes and stray dogs from the neighbouring areas.
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Stray dog feeders protected too
It is strange that people would have an issue with people who feed stray dogs. But this is a common issue! This circular highlights that it is not okay to intimidate stray dog feeders, or ban them from feeding dogs. There are so many benefits to feeding them – from yearly anti-rabies vaccinations to ease in catching them for sterilization or treatments. It might not occur to many that keeping the neighbourhood stray dogs happy is a great way to ensure peaceful coexistence with stray animals in the vicinity. You can learn more about the rights of stray dog feeders, here.
RWAs, use your powers for good
The Animal Husbandry Department has stated clearly that RWAs and AOAs are obligated to protect and encourage stray dog feeders. These Associations have the power to ensure feeder safety so they can do their work peacefully. A recent incident in Delhi where dog caregivers were beaten up just for allegedly helping dogs should never happen. This is a punishable offence and Police are investigating.
Relocation by anyone, including RWAs, is illegal
We have discussed in a previous article that it is illegal to relocate stray dogs from neighbourhoods. RWAs must contact a local NGO or Animal Welfare Organization if a dog needs to be sterilized or vaccinated. They must then return the dog to the same neighbourhood. Sterilization is an effective, scientific and humane way to manage and control the stray dog population in the long term.