A guide to making your gated community fur-friendly

Housing Societies, especially in India, are rarely pet friendly. Some residents and association members who are wary of pets and annoyed at their shenanigans often get into arguments with residents who own pets.  

However, these arguments and disagreements can easily be avoided if the management and the residents simply follow a handful of pet rules and laws.

What does the law say when it comes to pets?

To ensure that domestic pets such as dogs and cats are treated in a just and kind manner, the Animal Welfare Board of India has passed pet-favourable laws. The pet-owning residents and the management of housing societies must be aware of these laws.   

Pet laws and rights every pet owner should know

Management cannot ban pets

According to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 – Section 9(k), Housing Societies cannot ban pets even if the majority of the residents voted against allowing them. The law asks citizens to be compassionate towards all living creatures.

 Discrimination a no-no

Housing Societies cannot ban, and discriminate against pets based on their size, colour, or breed. Even if a dog barks incessantly, the management cannot ban that pet.

Prohibiting pets from using common facilities

The management of a society cannot ban pets from using facilities such as parks, lifts or impose penalties or levy special charges for using the facilities.

Enforcing leash rules

Though the law advises pet owners to leash their pets while in public places, the management cannot make it a rule that the pet owner leash their pets all the time.

Animal Cruelty is punishable

Housing Societies cannot create laws against harassing pets. Any kind of animal cruelty is a punishable offence according to Section 428 and 429 of IPC ( Indian Penal Code).

Feeding cannot be banned

The management cannot ban residents from feeding stray dogs and cats roaming in their locality.

How can the management make their societies pet-friendly?

Management should be careful about not violating any pet rules, but at the same time should have proper guidelines in place to ensure the welfare of both the residents and the pets.

To maintain peace and to ensure that the society operates smoothly, the below guidelines can come in handy.

Create ‘pet-timings’

Though this cannot be strictly imposed, you can create a ‘pet-time’ and suggest the residents use that time to walk their pets in the parks, gardens, and the society’s grounds.

Request vaccination records

To avoid problems in the future, the association can request pet owners to submit their pet’s sterilisation and vaccination records.

Allot a spot for the pets to defaecate

Outside the premises of your society, create a spot for the pets to go. Also, request/advise the owners to clean the spot.

Pets should not be on their own

Make it a strict rule that owners must always accompany their pets and not let them roam alone to ensure the safety of both the pets and residents.

Allocate spots for feeding

Designate a spot and mark them exclusively for feeding stray dogs and cats. Ensure that these spots are not close to play and residential areas and preferably outside the society.

Pet owners’ responsibilities

Pet owners must shoulder the responsibility of their pets and train, watch and take care of them accordingly to ensure the welfare of their pets and the peace of their community.

The below tips can be useful while raising pets in a housing society.

Provide proper training to your pet

Train your pet on how to behave socially in public and importantly, train it to respond to commands. This will prevent the pet from behaving untowardly in the common areas of the society.

Acquaint your pet with the society surroundings

A society is home to several people and families and your pet will see unfamiliar faces often. Ensure that your pet is familiar with the building so that it doesn’t harm strangers or disturb other residents.

Timely Vaccination

Ensure that your pet is vaccinated in a timely manner and when your society’s management requests for certificates or records, do not hesitate to submit a copy of it.

Respect society rules

Before moving into a new society, take time to read the society by-laws. Look up pet rules if you own one and ensure that you follow those roles to a T.

Clean after your pet

Pets are just like kids and they should be potty trained as well. It is also important that the owners clean after their pets, should they have an accident inside their premises of the society. Similarly, residents who are feeding strays should clean the leftovers to avoid mess.

Accompany your pet always

Your pet might be well trained, well familiar with the premises, and super friendly with other residents, but do not leave your pet to wander alone ever. Leash your pet when you are out to ensure everyone’s safety. Also, ensure that your pet does not exhibit any aggressive behaviour while encountering strays.   

Keep your pet engaged

Ensure that your pet gets enough exercise and playtime so that it is not hyperactive. If your pet is home alone for a while, keep plenty of food, water, and toys so that it doesn’t disturb others. 

The aforementioned tips can do wonders to your society and little effort coupled with a cooperative attitude will make the pet owners, residents, and of course our furry pals happy.

To know more about our features and how we can help your society’s operations, visit www.apnacomplex.com


Pets in Apartments: the Rights and Responsibilities of Pet Owners.

Many people love the idea of having a four-legged furball at home. They tend to have a therapeutic presence. Animal lovers will do anything for their furry friends. But others consider them a nuisance. Pet-related activities are disapproved of and even opposed. Often, people forget that other species on the planet also need a place to live. Sheltering a few homeless animals, newborn or aged, is not a bad idea.

The perpetual debate of whether pets must be allowed in apartment complexes, or not, has made us realise that there is a need for a clear understanding of the situation  (especially before we jump to conclusions about the rights and wrongs).

Authorities within residential areas often send out circulars that have rules and regulations about pet ownership. These circulars contain ‘vital’ information about whether or not they can be allowed to live with their human caretakers.  What people are unaware of is there is no law enacted by the Parliament, or any State Legislature, that bans animal friends. At most, you may have to register your pet (In many parts of the country you are legally required to register your pet). More often than not people end up having to choose between their home or their animal companion. This violates a fundamental right of being a citizen of this country. The right to make personal choices is protected by the constitution of India.

Following are the issues faced by pet owners:

  • Pets being banned on society premises on account of being noisy.
  • Prohibiting homeowners from using parks, lifts and other facilities if they are accompanied by pets. Also, being charged for the same.
  • Being charged ‘pet rent’.
  • Forced usage of muzzles (on calm pets).
  • Discrimination as per the size and breed of pets allowed in the housing society.
  • Being asked for a pet resume before being given the flat on rent (A pet resume contains the pet’s basic details, previous rental experience, health, behaviour, references, etc).

To make matters clear:

  • No bans can be imposed on usage of facilities (like lifts and parks) by pets.
  • RWAs cannot impose any extra charges for this, either.
  • Pets and resident owners of the pets not violating any Municipal Sanitary Bye-Laws or Regulations are permissible to stay in the society or community.
  • Size of pets cannot be a valid reason to ban them from society premises.

Such rules are highly discriminatory and might lead to friction among the members of the society. But, it must be kept in mind that these objections have risen due to certain behaviours of pet animals that have inconvenienced people in some way or another in the past.

As has always been, rights come with responsibilities. Pet owners must come forward and offer to adhere to simple, implicit rules and mannerisms.  This will eventually resolve the issues that lead to discriminatory circulars.

So, to make things fair:

  • The pet owners must make sure that there is no nuisance caused in the society due to their furry pals.
  • When out of the house and in the premises of the complex, the pets must be accompanied by their owners or anyone who has them under careful observation.
  • Since there is no central law regarding cleaning pet excreta, RWA can request pet owners to do the same.
  • Training must be provided to the pets in apartments on identifying people walking in and out of the apartment wing. This will help prevent them from getting provoked when neighbours and children are around.
  • The animals should be taken to an obedience class/training class as well. A certificate is generally provided once the animal recognises behaviour signals.
  • Crate/kennel training is another way of training the pet to stay in one place as it provides a feeling of security to the animal.
  • The pets must also be trained, through positive reinforcement, to not get aggressive around other animals and prevent matters from going downhill.
  • Pets must undergo regular vaccinations and medications required to stay healthy.
  • The owners should take responsibility for their pets.
  • Children and residents must be asked to not provoke or tease the animals.

In conclusion,  the society representatives and pet owners, must organise regular meetings and address the issues each party faces, and meet each other halfway. Non-pet owners must be sympathetic and flexible towards pets and their owners. The latter must take precautions to ensure that they and their furry friends continue to behave like responsible members of the community.


(The Governing Body in India Concerning Animal Welfare- The Animal Welfare Board of India, 1962, was the first of its kind to be set up in the world, by any Government. It was established as a part of the Ministry of Environments and Forests, Government of India, in accordance with Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 (No.59 of 1960). It has a list of bye-laws for pets, and was created to advise the Government on matters concerning animal welfare and preventing the infliction of pain on animals.)

Read more here: https://awbi.org/awbi-pdf/pet_dog_circular_26_2_2015.pdf


Disclaimer: This information is offered as a public service. While we try to make it accurate as possible as on the date of publication, the laws change and more importantly the way we interpret laws could also change. We cannot promise that this information is always up-to-date and correct. We strongly recommend you to always consult appropriate professional advisers for your society to ensure compliance. We are not responsible for any actions or non-actions that are done by you based on the information present in this article or any other article on this blog.


Pets & apartments: Why they get to stay and you do too

The perpetual debate of whether pets must be allowed in apartment complexes, or not, has made us realise that the need for a clear understanding of the situation is at an all-time high (especially before we jump to conclusions about the rights and wrongs).

pet-dog-in-apartment-thinking

 

The idea of breeding pets in apartments is welcomed by a lot of people. Animal lovers will do anything for their furry friends. But they are also considered a hindrance by many. Pet related activities are disapproved, and even opposed. Often, there is no second thought given to the fact that species other than humans need a place to live as well. And considering we’ve occupied most of the area a domestic animal needs to reside in, we humans need to be a bit more open-minded about such sensitive decisions.

As a lot of us know, local authorities are popping up rules and regulations, in the form of circulars regarding pet animals. These circulars contain over-hyped ‘vital’ information about whether or not they can be allowed to live with their human caretakers. But some pet enthusiasts don’t realise that as per the Parliament, or any State Legislature, there is no law enacted that bans animal friends. The most any of these groups can do is insist on registration and licencing of pets. They, often than not, are torn between choosing from among the home and their beloved animal companion. This should not be the case. It violates the fundamental freedom of being a citizen of this country.

 

pets in apartments Pet-dog-pet-turtle-pet-hamster-pet-budgie-at-home

 

Following are the issues faced by pet owners:

  • Banning pets on society premises.
  • ‘Dog barking’ being cited as a valid reason to impose a ban.
  • Prohibiting homeowners from using parks, lifts and other facilities if they are accompanied by pets. Also, being charged for the same.
  • Being charged ‘pet rent’.
  • Forced usage of muzzles and leashes (on calm pets).
  • Discrimination as per the size and breed of pets allowed in the housing society.
  • Being asked for a pet resume before being given the flat on rent (A pet resume contains the pet’s basic details, previous rental experience, health, behaviour, references, etc.)

 

To make matters clear:

  • No bans can be imposed on usage of facilities (like lifts and parks) by pets. RWAs cannot impose any extra charges for this, as well.
  • Pets and resident owners of the pets not violating any Municipal Sanitary Bye-Laws or Regulations are permissible to stay in the society or community.
  • Size of pets cannot be a valid reason to ban them from society premises.

 

Rules like these result in service quality of the society’s provisions turning low. But, it must be kept in mind that these objections have risen due to certain behaviours of pet animals that have inconvenienced people in some way or another in the past.

 

So, to make things fair:

  • The pet owners must make sure that there is no nuisance caused in the society due to their furry pals.
  • When out of the house and in the premises of the complex, the pets must be accompanied by their owners or anyone who has them under careful observation.
  • Since there is no central law regarding cleaning pet excreta, RWA can request pet owners to do the same.
  • Training must be provided to the pets in apartments on identifying people walking in and out of the apartment wing. This will help prevent them from getting provoked when neighbours and children are around.
  • The animals should be taken to an obedience class/training class as well. A certificate is generally provided once the animal recognises behaviour signals.
  • Crate/kennel training is another way of training the pet to stay in one place as it provides a feeling of security to the animal.pet-dog-crate-training-in-apartment
  • The pets must also be trained, through positive reinforcement, to not get aggressive around other animals and prevent matters from going downhill.
  • Pets must undergo regular vaccinations and medications required to stay healthy.
  • The owners should take responsibility for their pets.
  • Children and residents must be asked to not provoke or tease the animals.

 

Pet owners must come forward and offer to adhere to simple, implicit rules and mannerisms by themselves. This won’t even let the problem of notices and circulars arise in the first place. It is eventually the landlord/society’s job to rightly recognise responsible pet people.

 

pet-dog-in-apartment-with-big-eyes

 

In conclusion, to get rid of these issues in a sure-shot way, the society representatives and pet owners, both parties, must organise regular meetings and address the issues each of them face, and meet each other halfway. Non-pet owners must be sympathetic and flexible towards pets and their owners, and the latter must take precautions to ensure that there are no discrepancies regarding their co-ordination with approved and disapproved behaviours.

 

(The Governing Body in India Concerning Animal Welfare-
The Animal Welfare Board of India, 1962, was the first of its kind to be set up in the world, by any Government. It was established as a part of the Ministry of Environments and Forests, Government of India, in accordance with Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 (No.59 of 1960). It has a list of bye-laws for pets, and was created to advise the Government on matters concerning animal welfare and preventing infliction of pain on animals.)

 

 

Now that we’ve given you a solution to this problem, let’s check out what the pets themselves have to say:

Pikachu-dog-tired

 

 

 

 

I’m tired of the fights. Let’s just talk it out, please.

 

 

 

 

 

friendly-pet-dog

Come on. How can you say no to that face!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pet-dog-crying-at-home

 

 

 

pet-dog-crying-at-home

 

 

Cat-dog-play

 

 

HA HA!

 

 

 

 

 

dog-tongue-hanging

 

 

Got you there, didn’t we?

 

 

 

 

excuse-me-pet-dog-confused

 

 

 

pet-dog-tongue-hanging

Did I say something wrong?

pets in apartments Cockatoo-Dog-Turtle-staring-outside-at-cat

What are all of them looking at anyway?

 

 

 

 

Oh him.

house-cat-staring-outside-window

 ” Someone say my name, Mr. Fan-tabby-ulous? “

 

 

 

welcome-home-dog

Oh well, welcome home!

 

 

cheers-to-good-decisions

 

And cheers to good decisions!