Several residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) have decided to set guidelines for pet owners to have clearly defined walking trails for dogs, pet litter areas and corresponding pet litter dustbins.
This comes a day after HT highlighted the problems caused by pet litter in gated communities. RWAs were not able to issue guidelines or implement rules until now to ensure that pet owners take full responsibility of keeping roads clean.
Many RWAs are keen on raising awareness and bringing about a positive change in maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in their condominiums with the cooperation of pet owners.
Amit Jindal, president RWA, Vipul Greens, Sector 48, said, “Stray dogs are a risk to the safety of people, especially the kids and the elderly. We spend a lot on maintaining cleanliness in the society and dog litter creates a mess. We will impose penalties and will ensure action is taken against the pet owner. We will have CCTV cameras to monitor these issues. We have already made two littering points on the outer side of the condominium , but people do not care about keeping the area clean. We are also trying to organise sessions to educate residents and domestic helps on these ‘not so common’ issues.
A few condominiums have a strict pet etiquette policy, including ‘scoop the poop’ wherein the dog walker has to pick the litter and discard it in the designated bin/area.
Parimal Bardhan, RWA president of DLF Phase 1 H and B Block, said, “Dog lovers in our community have the least respect for neighbours as they don’t hesitate to turn a blind eye while their pets, chaperoned by their helps, defecate in front of others’ homes.”
“A large majority of house helps walking the dogs are often busy on phone or with their own socialising and do not care for the stroll and play activity of the pet, nor do they train or guide the pet to defecate in green areas. They allow the pet to defecate in the middle of the road and leave without clearing the litter . A few are also seen punishing the pets and pulling them along. Pets are most obedient and trainable. Since most people have started keeping pets, it’s most imperative to establish proper pet etiquette,” said Ruchika Sethi Takkar, activist and a resident of Nirvana Country.
Another resident Suman Gupta, Jai Heights, Sector 52, said, “Well-defined guidelines and respecting pet owners’ rights are needed. But what’s most critical is that pet owners recognise that the pet is an extended family member and take responsibility as a pet parent. They should only let pets defecate in designated areas and not in lobbies, common walkways.”
“In the absence of RWA guidelines, dogs are free to litter in front of our homes. I believe Central Park and few other condominiums have very strict guidelines wherein you are supposed to pick up the poop and discard it appropriately,” Takkar said.
On the other hand, animal conservationists feel that making rules and regulation for pets are not fair and they should not be ill-treated .
Prerna Bindra, animal rights activist, said, “A lot of societies have laid down rules which are illegal. The pet owners should behave responsibly, if they are taking their pet in the lift, they should make sure the pet doesn’t litter inside . But not allowing a pet inside a lift is not fair.”