New guidelines for pet parents

Bangalore Apartments’ Federation has put out a framework for the harmonious co-existence of pets, owners, and others living in apartments

Bengaluru is a home to many dog lovers. A dog show in progress in the city.

Keeping in mind the rising incidences of conflict between pet owners and other residents of apartments, the Bangalore Apartments’ Federation (BAF) recently charted out a few recommendations to curb this issue.

Srikanth Narasimhan, general secretary, BAF, says, “These rules will act as a framework for the harmonious co-existence of pet owners, other residents and managing committees of apartments. These guidelines have a balanced view and are in the interest of both pet owners and apartment residents.” 

The rules are recommendatory in nature; resident associations are free to use their judgement while planning by-laws for pet ownership. “We intend to create awareness among people about the existing laws of pet ownership. Most people are unaware of these laws and by-laws, though a majority of pet owners act responsibly. However, if associations find pet owners violating rules, they should only penalise them and not the entire community of pet owners,” Srikanth told Metrolife. 

Shilpa, associate program manager with an MNC, feels that these guidelines will work as they don’t favour either the pet owners or the residents. 

“As the guidelines point out, owners should make sure their pets don’t disturb anyone, especially at night. If a pet is not social, it should be put on a leash when being taken out for walks. Pet parent should also be responsible enough to carry a newspaper or a poop scoop in case their pet dirties a common area,” she points out. 

The guidelines also talk about designated areas. Shilpa feels a ‘pets only’ place can be a good idea as they can play, go for walks or simply run around there without causing trouble to anyone. 

Anoop Saxena, senior executive at Neustar and pet parent to a Labrador, says that his apartment already has a set of rules for pet owners in place. “Our apartment is pet-friendly but we have some rules that everybody follows.  There are some reasonable restrictions like not allowing pets into the lawn area where kids play and looking out for people who don’t clean up after their pets,” he says. 

He also points out that pet parents have the responsibility to provide basic training to their pets. “Others should also understand that when a dog comes running towards you, it doesn’t mean to bite. It can be just playing with you,” he says.   

Dos and don’ts for pet owners

  • Keep pets on a leash when taking them out of the house.
  • Keep your pets quiet,especially at night.
  • Train pets to poop in your house or in designated areas.
  • Carry newspapers while on walks, in case they dirty common areas.
  • Keep your pets away from those who are afraid or uncomfortable with animals.
  • Do periodical vaccination and routine health check-ups.
  • Abide by the by-laws laid down by the Apartment Association 

Apartments can’t collect extra charges

  • Pet owners should not be asked to pay extra maintenance charge as this is discriminatory in nature.
  • Pets should be allowed in lifts and other common areas.
  • Fix a time, after discussions with owners, for pets to be walked.
  • Penalise only the pet owners who violate rules and not the entire community.
  • Make pet owners aware of their responsibilities and encourage other residents to be accommodating as well.
  • Create designated areas for pets to poop
  • Do not intimidate a pet owner into giving up or abandoning a pet.
  • Abandoning a pet is illegal as per Section 11 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

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