RIGHTS OF ANIMAL FEEDERS
Here’s All You Need To Know About Rules Related To Feeding Pets & Street Dogs In India.
With apartment complexes becoming the norm and more and more activists and residents actively engaging in taking care of their pets and stray dogs, it becomes important for people to understand their duties, rights and responsibilities, for the welfare of their pets and their neighbours.
Residents often find letters taped to the apartment's notice boards that delegate (extremely weird) laws related to pet dog owners, residents, pets, street dogs, and end up submitting to it mostly because they're unaware of the by-laws or guidelines already in place.
Guidelines for the ones who take care of street dogs
Now there are many who take care of the ownerless, stray dogs selflessly - they often feed them leftovers or prepare food for them, offer them warm dog clothes in winters and silently take care of them.
Even if the Indian Constitution advises peaceful coexistence in between all creatures and lists it as one of our Fundamental Duties (Article 51(g)) to show compassion to all living creatures, things are not as simple as it looks!
To let you know what by-laws are in place, we have rounded some guidelines passed by the Animal Welfare Board of India.
1. Those who take care of street dogs are also advised to participate in their sterilisation and assist animal welfare organisations in taking good care of their health.
2. Care-givers are advised not to feed street dogs near residences which do not belong to them, places immediately adjacent to areas in which children play, areas in which people take walks or in places that are generally crowded.
3. Care-givers cannot be to forced to control the defecation habits of strays but are advised to participate in it.
4. They are also advised to keep a record of sterilisation of the dogs and share the information with residents.
Guidelines for pet dog owners living in society apartments
Pet owners often find themselves in conflict with other residents in a society when it comes to their pets. To clarify, here are some guidelines for pet owners and other residents of the society:
1. Pet owners rightly can consider their pets as family members but they have to ensure their pets don't cause inconvenience to others.
2. No Resident Welfare Association has the right to ban residents from keeping pets in their apartments, not even by getting a majority vote in the society with the help of other tenants or residents. Doing so is a violation of the law.
3. Barking, which is a natural form of expression of a dog, has to be tolerated in a society. Pet owners must make an effort to keep their dogs quiet, especially during night hours.
4. If pet owners abide by the municipal laws regarding pets then no civic body has the right to ban the pets or their owners from the society.
5. No pets can be banned from lifts. No ban or special charges can be imposed on pet owners for using lifts with their pets.
6. Leashing the dog is advisable (but not compulsory) when the dog is taken out for walks. It will make the people around feel safe. Leashing also ensures the safety of the pet from being run over by vehicles.
7. Even if Residents' Welfare Association cannot impose fines on any pet owner who do not clean their pet's excreta, they can request pet owners to clean up after their dogs defecate for society’s cleanliness.
What to do in case people threaten you when you are feeding the dogs
Lodge a complaint with the local police
1. You could write it out in your own hand, and serve a copy on the police, and if they refuse to take it, serve it through registered post or courier - anything that will vest you with a proof of dispatch.
2. You say in that, that you are doing nothing unlawful in feeding and tending to the dogs.
3. You are merely performing the fundamental duty cast upon all citizens of the country by Article 51A (g) of the Constitution of India, that enjoin upon you to show compassion to all living creatures.
4. Moreover, that there is no law against animal feeding. ALSO that the man who is beating the dogs is guilty of the offence set out in Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and may even be guilty in terms of Sections 428, and 429 of the Indian Penal Code.
5. FURTHER, that in misbehaving with you, he is guilty of various offences listed out in the Indian Penal Code, particularly the offence of Criminal Intimidation
6. Say all of that, and demand that the police take action in terms of the law.
7. On a national level, Police are the major enforcement body for the PCA Act 1960. They are obliged to take action against the offender and render help to the suffering animals as per the procedure outlined in the PCA Act when the offence against the animal is amongst those listed in Section 11 or 12 of the PCA Act. Police are even obliged to extend help to the enforcement staff of SPCA as well as ordinary citizens to lodge a complaint/FIR against an incident of animal cruelty. If the Police don’t adhere to your complaint, you can also contact the magistrate directly with a written complaint. One can also lodge a complaint under Section 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860 under which, 'mischief of killing or maiming an animal amounts to an offence' and the offender can be imprisoned for up to five years or a fine or both.
A. Documentation is the 'Key': In your complaint, be as factual and precise of your observation of the animal crime. Give precise dates, times, locations and photographic evidence if any (while remembering to keep a photocopy with you). You are also advised to keep a record of all the officers you are interacting with so that if they don't listen you can proceed to the next level in the hierarchy to demand justice for the animal/s you are fighting for. Getting a vet's certificate for the animal in consideration would also prove to be good documentary and supporting evidence. When reporting animal cruelty, we should look out for the following: Physical condition of the animal, telltale signs of animal cruelty, cruelty during their training and practice, housing (size of cages), overcrowding, mode of transportation, sanitation and hygiene. 5. Stand up, speak up against injustice. Never give up, keep up the effort! The Indian Constitution, also, under Article 51 A (g) imposes upon every Indian Citizen a fundamental duty to have compassion for all living creatures.
B. 503. CRIMINAL INTIMIDATION. Whoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of any one in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threats, commits criminal intimidation. Explanation: A threat to injure the reputation of any deceased person in whom the person threatened is interested, is within this section.
C. 506. PUNISHMENT FOR CRIMINAL INTIMIDATION. Whoever commits the offence of criminal intimidation shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both; [if threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, etc.] and if the threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, or to cause the destruction of any property by fire, or to cause an offence punishable with death or [imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or to impute unchastely to a woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both. 507. CRIMINAL INTIMIDATION BY AN ANONYMOUS COMMUNICATION. Whoever commits the offence of criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication, or having taken precaution to conceal the name or abode of the person from whom the threat comes, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, in addition to the punishment provided for the offence by the last preceding section.
Application of Dog Feeder's Card
Guidelines for feeding strays