Apartments Pet Rules – Rights & Responsibility of Pet Owners in Housing Societies

Apartments Pet Rules

Animal lovers know too well the challenges of keeping a dog/pet in a housing society. To ensure that community living is not hampered in any way, there are certain pet rules in a housing society that residents must follow. To start off, the Animal Welfare Board of India has passed certain dog laws to ensure our furry companions are not harassed or treated unfairly. Both pet owners and the management must be aware of laws for pet owners living in apartments. These dog laws and awareness about pet rights help to keep the housing society functions smoothly. This article takes an in-depth look at the pet rules in housing society in India.

Pet laws in India for pet owners living in apartments

1. Ban of pets is illegal

The advisory is being issued in pursuance of ‘Section 9(k) Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960’, it is illegal for housing societies to pass pet bye laws that disallow pets, not even on a majority vote by the residents of the society. According to article 51 A (g), it is the duty of every citizen to have compassion for animals and any living creature.

2. No discrimination allowed

A housing society cannot ban pets/dogs on the basis of their breed or size. Even complaints regarding a dog’s barking habits cannot be used to ban the pet. 

3. Use of common facilities

A housing society cannot ban a pet from using common facilities like lifts and parks or impose a fine or special charge for the same.

4. Cruelty is punishable

ociety cannot create dog harassment laws. Any cruelty towards strays is illegal under the ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. It is also a punishable offence under Section 428 and 429 of the Indian penal code.

5. No ban on feeding

No resident can be barred from feeding stray dogs/cats in the locality. 

6. Protected animals

Certain animals like bears, monkeys, and parakeets cannot be trained or used for entertainment under the ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act’. Most rodents and reptiles are also prohibited under this act. 

Role of the management committee 

In view of these bye-laws for pets, society must take care not to violate rules for pets in society. Society can however still create and enforce rules and regulations of keeping dogs to ensure the welfare of the pets and the residents. The following pet guidelines can be implemented by society to maintain peace. 

Pet rules in housing society

1. Create time slots

Create time slots when the pets can access gardens, parks, and grounds. 

2. Keep vaccination records

The management committee can ask for vaccination and sterilization records in case issues arise in the future. 

3. Designate defecation spots

Cordon of areas outside the community premises where the pet owners can take their pets. Furthermore, society can advise pet owners to clean up after their dogs inside society as a courtesy

4. Always accompanied by owners

When out of the house and in the society premises, the apartment association should make sure the pet is accompanied by the owner. 

5. Designate feeding spots

If the residents wish to feed strays, earmark feeding spots that are not close to the residential space or children’s play areas. 

6. Organise and educate

Educate the residents on animals, especially strays. The management committee can also tie-up with Animal Welfare Organisations to take care of the vaccination and sterilization needs of strays. The strays must be released back into the same locality once the vaccination is administered.

Responsibility of pet owners- rules and regulations of keeping a dog in apartment 

responsibilities of pet owner is a housing society

A responsible pet owner is crucial to peaceful community living. While it is important for the pet owner to be aware of the dog laws that keep them safe, they should also be aware of their responsibilities of keeping a pet as a resident in a community. These suggestions should be kept in mind when using common facilities. The following are the rules for dog owners in India.

1. Train your pet

Ensure you give your pet ample obedience training, so the dog does behave untowardly in common areas or gets provoked when amidst other residents. 

2. Familiarize your pet

Society is home to many unfamiliar faces. Make sure your pet knows the surroundings he/she resides in and does not harm a stranger or cause a nuisance.

3. Vaccinate on time

All vaccinations must be administered on a timely basis.  For cats, Anti- Rabies and Feligen/TriCat must be renewed every year. Dogs must be vaccinated with Anti-Rabies, DHLPPi, and KC vaccines every year. Medications must be administered in case your pet is suffering from any illness. When your housing society organises vaccination or sterilisation drives for strays, participate and encourage other pet owners to actively take part in the proceedings.

4. Follow the rules of society

Before renting or buying a place, make it a point to go through society by-laws and advisories. Adhere to them to avoid hassling other residents. If your society has dedicated time slots for your pets to access parks and gardens, make sure you stick to them.

5. Clean up after

The main concern that most people have is cleanliness, so make sure your pet is toilet trained. It is advisable for pet owners to clean up after their furry pal, if he/she has an accident inside the society premises, even if it is not required by law. It is also advisable to maintain the hygiene of your pet for their own well-being and so no one is inconvenienced. In case, you feed strays make sure there are no leftovers once the strays have had their fill.

6. Supervise your pet

Even if your pet is well-trained, it is necessary to supervise your pet when in common spaces. Keep your pets on a leash when you take them out for a walk or when they are playing around children to ensure safety. Ensure your pet is not aggressive or hostile towards strays or other animals in the vicinity. 

7. Be a responsible pet owner

Make sure your pets get ample exercise, so they are not excessively energetic. If your pet is alone for long hours, make sure she/he has ample food, water, and toys. Make sure they do not create a nuisance in your absence. 

What laws govern stray dogs in India?

The Delhi High Court (HC) has emphasised the need to create ‘guard and dog partnerships’ in consultation with the Police to train stray dogs to protect the housing society and not harm its residents as a part of the rules for stray dogs in society. This would be done in order to make sure that residents are safe from any potential harm that could come from these stray dogs.

The court has issued directives to citizens, Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and municipal bodies regarding the feeding of stray dogs. The court observed that stray dogs must have access to food and water if there are no community dog feeders in the area. It also stated that the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and RWAs or the municipality should work closely to create designated feeding spots where humans don’t frequent. This would give the dogs a sense of security as they are territorial in nature.

In addition, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, particularly Section 38, provides protection for stray dogs. Dogs cannot be relocated or ejected from their domain in accordance with the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001. Additionally, the Central Government issued an Office Memorandum in 2006 urging employees to refrain from abusing stray dogs.

However, the Delhi High Court’s judgement was briefly overturned by the Supreme Court in March 2022, largely due to the fact that stray dogs can be fed in housing communities. However, the ban was lifted in May 2022 with the justification that no citizen could be prohibited from providing stray dogs with food or water.

What is the role of an RWA in maintaining a gated society with stray dogs?

RWAs are typically responsible for maintaining the housing society. However, they may often be unaware of how to control stray dogs inside the area. This can be due to the fact that many residents feed them, which ends up increasing the stray dog population within the gated community.

With the approval of the order from HC, RWAs now need to focus on increasing awareness on the subject. RWAs can work on better implementation of Animal Birth Control (ABC) to drive sterilisation with support from AWBI. Also, the latest draft of ABC for 2022 talks about vaccination and the formation of stray monitoring committees within society. Once passed, RWAs will need to undertake activities to ensure the peaceful co-existence of stray dogs and humans.

Our animal companions are an inseparable part of our lives. With a cooperative attitude and thoughtful policies on the part of pet owners, other residents, and management committees, we can ensure the welfare of furry friends and the safety of society.

Types of Co-operative Societies in India

Special General Body Meetings in a Housing Society

Rights of Associate Members in a Cooperative Housing Society

What do you think?