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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Mumbai, your dogs, cats have rights too. Use this list to silence your nagging neighbours

Mumbai housing societies often object to letting you use the elevators and gardens if you have a pet. Here are things your neighbours cannot force you or your pet to do

mumbai Updated: Apr 27, 2017 18:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Housing societies cannot ban pets or impose rules on where they are allowed. As a pet owner, you have the right to fight against such restrictions. But, you also have the duty to be considerate and courteous towards your neighbours. Here’s what housing societies cannot do:

Ban pets: Even if the societies rewrite their bylaws to ban pets, it is illegal to do so and you have the right to object

Insist on the size of the pet: A society cannot allow smaller dogs, but ban residents from keeping larger ones

Use ‘dog barking’ as a valid and compelling reason to ban pets

Stop you from using elevators: Pet owners cannot be banned from using the lift with their animals, according to Bombay high court rulings. The society can’t impose extra charges to allow you to use the lifts

Ban pets from parks: Banning pets from gardens or parks is a short-sighted move. Residents could set specific timings for pets, to ensure their presence doesn’t make people around uncomfortable

Ask you to use leashes: Pet owners can be requested, at the most, to put their pets on a leash when they are being walked in common areas

Ask you to use muzzles on your pets: The law already provides penalties on negligent pet-owners. The society cannot force owners to make their pets wear muzzles

Force you to scoop up poop: Pet owners can be requested to clean up after their pets, but societies can’t force them to do so. Societies can’t impose fines for this either. However, as a pet owner, this is a basic courtesy — scoop up your pet’s poop, it will make your neighbours happy and keep your surroundings clean. Societies could also set aside specific areas for pets to defecate

Intimidate you: Any intimidation of a pet owner to abandon pets violates the law and is punishable under the Indian Penal Code

(SOURCE: Animal Welfare Board of India’s pet norms for societies)

First Published: Apr 27, 2017 17:21 IST

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