Chandigarh: City has 15,000 pet dogs, only one-third registered

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 28, 2015 09:58 IST

When voices are being raised against the municipal corporation's failure in checking the population of stray dogs, the number of unregistered pet dogs too has gone up considerably as the civic body has failed to implement dog bylaws framed in June 2010.

As per the records of Sector 19 civil veterinary dispensary, the only rabies clinic in the city, on an average 8 cases of dog bites are reported daily, still the MC has issued only 169 challans under the dog bylaws in the past one year.

There are nearly 15,000 pet dogs in the city, of which only 4,455 are registered with the MC. The civic body has failed to convince the residents to get their pets registered, which is mandatory under the bylaws. In fact, the registration of pet canines has seen a downward trend since 2011 when the maximum 1,713 dogs were registered. In 2012, the figure was 990; which went down to 669 in 2013, and 285 in 2014.

Dr LK Gupta, joint director, Government Veterinary Hospital, Sector 22, said the number of pet dogs in the city had gone up to 15,000 and only less than 30% were registered. "It is the duty of the MC to register the dogs," he said.

Nominated councillor Major DS Sandhu (retd) said, "There is no policy in place to ban domestication of some beeds of dogs, which is need of the hour. Every day, MC receives nearly 10 complaints for violations of dog bylaws, but it is very unfortunate that only 169 people have been challaned in the past one year."

Former mayor, Subhash Chawla said there was no check on pet dogs in the city though 50% of dog bite complaints involve pet dogs. "Though the MC claims that the public has been made aware by educating them about these bylaws through various programmes, but in reality nothing has been done. MC officials also claim to have distributed leaflets to spread awareness about dog bylaws, but we have not seen any such material till date," Chawla said.

Additional commissioner of MC Rajeev Gupta said, "We do not have enough manpower to go to every home and register dogs. It is duty of the residents to get their dogs registered. Though, we are planning a special drive for the purpose."

One of the most crucial clauses of the dog bylaws was to construct a dog pound where stray dogs would be kept and given special care, but the pound has not been constructed till date despite various discussions on the issue in MC's general house meetings.

Also, in the house meetings, the issue of certain aggressive breeds of dogs, which are banned in some countries, had come up. Some councillors had underlined the need for a policy in place for domestication of such breeds.

Dog bylaws

Registration of every pet dog is a must

Only two dogs are allowed per family

Pet animals cannot be taken to Sukhna Lake or any public garden being maintained by the MC

Pet dogs should not be allowed to defecate in public places

Owners need to ensure that each pet dog is wearing a collar affixed with a metal token issued by the registration authority.

Owners have to hand over dead pets to the MC for burial.

All ferocious dogs should be muzzled and a stick has to be carried by the escort accompanying the dog while taking it out.

How to get your pet registered

It is mandatory for dog owners to register each pet at the MC Dog Cell once the canine is four months old

Two photographs of the dog have to be pasted on the form with the details of its age, colour, breed and vaccination certificate from a veterinary practitioner duly registered with Indian veterinary council (IVC) or state veterinary council.

The registration is done at the office of medical officer health in Sector 17, for which a fee of Rs 200 is charged.

The owner gets a brass token in return, which the owner has to fix to the dog's collar.

Lone conviction for keeping dog without licence

In September 2014, a UT court convicted a Sector 27 resident for keeping a pet dog without taking a licence from the municipal corporation. The convict, Prem Lal Sharma, was asked to pay Rs 200 and in failure to do so he was spend four days in jail. The convict was challaned for not having a licence for his pet dog on July 9, 2013.

"There are 30 such challans pending before the district courts. The fine is on the lower side, but the aim is to create awareness and ensure implementation of dog bylaws," advocate Arvind Moudgil representing MC had said at that time.

In case of violation

In case a pet owner does not register a dog, he or she can be punished with a fine extending up to Rs 500. If still the dog is not registered, then the owner is fined Rs 20 daily for seven days. After this, the dog is detained and the owner has to pay maintenance charges of Rs 100 per day to claim the dog. If the dog is not claimed within seven days, then the MC can sell it.

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