Around three years after the state department of local bodies finalised the dog bylaws, the municipal corporation (MC) is still waiting for notification of the laws from the state government.With delay in notification of the bylaws, the MC is unable to start registration of pet dogs. Besides, with the civic body soon starting sterilisation of stray dogs, the staff may face problems differentiating between pet and stray dogs.
After notification of the bylaws, residents would have to register their pet brought within the MC limits within seven days of its arrival or before April 1 each year.
The owner will have to pay `250 annually as registration fee. If the fee is paid on May 1, the owners would have to pay a registration fee of `350.
On registration, the MC will provide the owner a metal badge engraved with name and address of the owner, which the pet has to wear at all times. The draft of the bylaws reads that any dog without a collar or other marks distinguishing them as private property and not wearing the MC badge in accordance with the clause, if found loitering on the streets or beyond the owner's house may be detained and a fine of `50 per day will be imposed.
After crossing the maximum fine of up to `250, the dog will not be released to the owner.
On conviction of the dog owner under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, of an offence of cruelty to a dog, the court may order him to be disqualified for keeping a dog and for holding or obtaining a dog licence for any period. Besides, the licence already issued to the owner will be suspended.
The owner, then, can appeal against the order in the manner as against a conviction. The penalty for failing to comply with such order will be `200.
Dr Sandeep Jain, president of People For Animals (PFA), said, “After registration, breeding of dogs cannot take place without getting licence from the MC. Besides, registration process would help us know the actual number of pet dogs.”
An MC official, requesting anonymity, said, “It is difficult for us to tell stray and pet dogs apart. Those wandering in the street are understood to be stray dogs. But, it has been seen that owners often allow their pets to wander in streets without collars. This would pose a problem for the MC when it starts the sterilisation process.”
According to MC, three rooms and around 20 kennels are under construction to start the sterilisation project of stray dogs soon by a Hyderabad-based organisation, Vet Society for Animal Welfare and Rural Development.
When contacted, AS Sekhon, chief of health and sanitation wing of MC, said, “We are waiting for the notification of the bylaws for registration of dogs. It would help us keep a count of pet dogs in the city and also keep a tab on their vaccination.”
When contacted, Ashok Gupta, secretary of local bodies department, Punjab, said, “I can comment only after looking into the matter.”