Adilin Beatrice C
Pet lovers are unhappy over the BBMP’s proposed Pet Dog Licensing Bylaws 2020. They are particularly riled over the proposals to ban “ferocious” breeds like German shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans and hounds from apartment buildings, and to limit the number of dogs a resident can have.
Apoorva Kulkarni, owner of a five-year-old German Shepherd, informed The Observer: “I don’t know on what basis the BBMP has called these dogs ferocious. Bringing up a dog is like bringing up a baby. Dogs can even turn 15, but by behaviour they act like two- or three-year-old babies. If you bring them up in a good manner with good food, they behave well with people.”
Hemanth Kumar, who owns a Rottweiler and a Golden Retriever, sees no difference in their behaviour. He laughed at the statement that Rottweilers are ferocious. “I was quite surprised when I came to know about the proposed bylaws. It is a little funny when someone calls a dog ferocious with no reason. Both my dogs are same to me, and I treat them in a similar way. They both are affectionate.”
Raksha Kotiyan, a dog lover, hates the idea of limiting the number of dogs a family can have.
“Bringing up a dog is a difficult job. How can the BBMP invade someone’s privacy? This is purely absurd.”
Aruna N, who lives in an apartment and owns a Cocker Spaniel, hates the idea of having one dog per house in an apartment. “Who are they to say this? In a country where we have the right to speak and write as per our wish, why has the BBMP planned to put a cap on the number of dogs a pet owner can have.”
Other than this, Santhosh, a dog owner is worried about renewing the pet licence every year. “The BBMP doesn’t provide proper service for renewing licences. I went 4-5 times to the BBMP office before renewing the pet licence for the first time. It is freaking me out to even think about going to the office again and waiting for officials.”
The BBMP has proposed to the council pet dog licensing bylaws. These envisage banning “ferocious” dog breeds from apartments and limiting the number of dogs a person can have to one per flat and three for independent houses.
“The BBMP has a misconception about some dog breeds,” said Punith Kumar, founder of Bangalore Pets and Animal Licensing. “I agree that dog owners living in apartments should have concern towards their neighbours. But every apartment has a committee where residents meet and figure whether they have any problem with dogs in the apartment. It is up to the neighbours. As an animal activist, the BBMP’s bylaw looks unrealistic to me.”
BBMP officials said the bylaws do not only these restrictions, but also focus on a lot of good things for both dog owners and the general public.
Dr Manjunath Shinde, assistant director of animal husbandry, BBMP, said: “The bylaws involve restriction on dogs being used for breeding in houses, mandatory pet licence to assure that the dogs are vaccinated properly, and microchip for pet dogs. These proposals bring good maintenance to dogs and keep them healthy. Dog owners should also have some responsibility, like not letting dogs poop in public spaces and renewing the dog licence every year. If someone complains about the dog poop at a public space, dog owners will be fined Rs 500.”
He added: “We took the initiative to ban ferocious breed dogs because they are mostly used for police or hunting services. People in apartment who don’t own a dog are very afraid of them.”
In June 2018, BBMP implemented new rules on dogs after getting approval from Urban Development Department. Among other things, the rules envisaged dog collars fitted with a microchip and GPS. The rules were revoked following criticism by activists and dog owners.