Your pet has rights too! GHP gives you a lowdown of housing society rights every pet parent must be aware of.
Pet parents, you may have had neighbours asking you to take your pets down the stairs, not the elevator. There may have been times when you’ve even been stared at or frowned upon if your pet is off its leash in the society premises. Some societies even go on to state that parks, gardens and common spaces are No-Pet zones. But did you know that your housing society cannot impose any such rule on your pets?!
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has declared that housing societies cannot ban pets or impose rules on where they are allowed. But with no uniform norms and no one to monitor these policies, pet owners have often faced undue harassment.
Kandivali resident, Mayura Bangera, recalls harassment from a few years ago. She had brought two puppies into her home. ‘There were some people in the society who asked me to take them down by stairs. Even while waiting for the lift, some residents don’t like being in such close proximity to animals and have asked me to wait. Staying on the fifth floor, walking up and down the stairs with them was out of the question. I had to put my foot down and couldn’t comply with such unfair rules. Earlier, my dog was blamed if there was any defecation within the building premises. But these days, thanks to CCTV cameras, I have proven my pets’ innocence several times’.
Pet parents, you need to know housing society rights for your pets. Here they are.
Housing societies cannot:
1) Ban Pets: It is illegal to ban a pet from a society even if they include it in their set of rules.
2) Discriminate on size: A housing society cannot only allow small dogs but ban larger ones.
3) Restrict the use of elevators: According to Bombay High Court rulings, no society can ban pets from using the elevators. The society is not allowed to impose extra charges on pets for this facility.
4) Use dog barking as an excuse to ban pets: No society can use excessive dog barking as a valid reason to ban a dog.
5) Ask you to leash your pet: It is not compulsory to put a leash on your pets. Pet owners can be requested but not forced to leash pets.
6) Ban pets from gardens: Residents can allot certain timings for pet owners to take their pets to parks and gardens so that others don’t feel uncomfortable. But they cannot ban them from entering parks.
7) Ask you to use a muzzle: The society cannot force owners to put a muzzle on their pets.
8) Force you to scoop the poop: Pet owners can be requested to clean up after their pets but not forced.
9) Intimidate pet owners: No society or member can threaten or intimidate pet owners to abandon their pets. It is a violation and punishable under the Indian Penal Code.
Know Housing Society Rules for Pets But Also Do Your Bit
Pet owners, you should also be considerate towards your neighbours. No matter what harassment you may face. You should be sensitive to residents who don’t feel the same way about animals.
As responsible citizens, pet owners can take up the initiative of making certain amendments while their dog is outside of home and within the building premises. By being courteous towards others you can create a friendly atmosphere for your pets and co-exist peacefully.