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Laws and Regulations for Keeping Pets in a Society

As per the guidelines passed by the Animal Welfare Board of India as part of the Ministry of Environments and Forests, Government of India on 1st February 2014, many updates were released regarding the keeping of pets in an apartment or a society. These laws are formulated in respect of pet dogs and their owners. Some of the major points are mentioned below:

Rules Related to Pet Bans:
1. No Resident Welfare Association has the right to ban a resident from keeping pets.
2. This ban cannot be enforced even if a majority of people are in favour of this ban.
3. A ban on a pet cannot be based on invalid reasons like dog barking.
4. A ban cannot be introduced regarding the size of pets in a society. No discrimination on the ground of size should be promoted.
5. No society by-law or regulation can validate a pet related ban.
6. As per the guidelines by Animal Welfare Board of India, any sort of ban on pets is equivalent to direct intrusion with the fundamental independence guaranteed to all the citizens as per the Indian constitution.
7. A pet or a resident owner who does not violate any municipal law has permission to stay in the housing society.

Rules Related to Use of Lifts by Pets:
1. There are no legal laws to ban a pet from using lifts in an apartment or any housing society.
2. No modifications can be introduced by a Resident Welfare Association in the regard of the same.
3. Courts express that they believe pets to be a part of any family and thus no pet can be barred from using a society lift.
4. According to the court guidelines, no RWA holds the right to impose special charges on use of lifts by pets.

Rules Related to Use of Parks by Pets:
1. Banning pets from accessing parks and garden is not right and pets can express anger related to the same.
2. To avoid any inconvenience towards other residents, it is suggested to decide a suitable timeline dedicated solely to access of parks/gardens by pets.

Rules Related to Use of Leashes/Chains/Muzzles by Pets:
1. When saying in common areas, pet owners can be requested to keep their pets on a leash.
2. If an unleashed pet is a trouble to a resident, the negligent owner can be fined for the same.

Rules Related to Defection by Pets in the Society Grounds:
1. There is no central law related to cleaning of the excreta by pets, hence RWA can request the owner to clean the excreta of their pets.
2. In case of defecation in common areas, RWA cannot impose a special fine on the owner for the same.
3. The courts believe that pet owners should teach their pets to use the same place for excretion every day.
4. No RWA can force or intimidate a pet owner to abandon their pet on any grounds.

As per Indian constitution, no apartment/housing society should ban the animal keeping in an apartment/society. Such beliefs are against the Section 11 (3) states Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960 and article 51 A (g) of the Indian Constitution. According to article 51 A (g) of the Indian Constitution, it is the responsibility of every citizen to behave compassionately towards the living creatures and animals.