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).
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.
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.
- 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.
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:
I’m tired of the fights. Let’s just talk it out, please.
Come on. How can you say no to that face!
Got you there, didn’t we?
Did I say something wrong?
What are all of them looking at anyway?
” Someone say my name, Mr. Fan-tabby-ulous? “
Oh well, welcome home!
And cheers to good decisions!