Dear friends… I shall start 2018 posts with a rant and not something funny.
I have been looking to move to a different locality for a while. Last when we started looking for rented flats in Kamothe, Kharghar, Khandeshwar and Belapur area (Navi Mumbai), we were stumped to learn the fact that most building societies have put a ban on pets especially if the people are looking to rent a place.
This is beyond disgusting. So I decided to dig deep and do some research of my own. I found that under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, it is illegal for housing societies to pass resolutions disallowing pets. There is no law enacted by Parliament or any State Legislature that ‘bans’ companion animals. At best, the societies can insist on registration or licensing of pets. While Societies come up with their own ‘Ban’, they can be dragged to court for this discrimination.
The Indian Penal Code (IPC) describes in great length how grave an offence it is to harass animals. IPC section 428 and 429 are dedicated to describing that any kind of mischief causing physical harm or death of the animal will attract two to five years of imprisonment, or a fine of Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000, or both.
I will definitely agree that there are certain steps that a pet parent should take to ensure that they or their pets are not a nuisance to the society.
- Walking dog(s) on leash in the common area of the society
- Registering pets is essential. The Registration has to be renewed every year
- If some residents are scared of dogs, then it is best to avoid shoving yourself and pet into the same lift as them. Taking the next one is better and relaxing for all.
- In case the pooch poops or pees within the society compound, it is a civic duty of the pet owner to clean the area that has been soiled.
- If you know your dog is aggressive or has anxiety, then it is best to have their walkies at the time when less people are out and about.
However, all legalities aside, I do have 1 question though, if I am trying to look for a rented place, and I am told that dogs are not allowed for renters and I should abandon them if I wanted to live in their society, what should I do? In case I threaten them with a police case or call an NGO, I might get the place but for sure my family and I will be harassed regularly. Also it might happen that I am given a notice to evict the place for some entirely different made-up reason; like my car is parked outside the building which the society does not approve, or the TV is loud at my place or we cook non veg in our house.
In short, it is absolutely distasteful how a lot of societies in Navi Mumbai have been basically telling us to fuck off because we have pets.