By Devanshi Shah*

The topic of petlicenses in India is one that enjoys very little awareness. Many pet parents across the country do not even know that in certain cities in India it is mandatory to get a pet licence. Failure to do so can even result in a situation where state authorities enjoy the right to seize a pet for not conforming to this requirement. Take the example of Mumbai, where under section 191(A) of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, it is mandatory for owners of pet dogs to obtain a licence. As a pet owner, it is our responsibility to check the laws within our state of residence and conform to local ruling. While I will shed light upon the application process, let’s first discuss the advantages and benefits of obtaining a licence for your pet.

To begin with, the government application process for applying for a dog license requires that your dog has been correctly vaccinated. Not only does this ensure that you have correctly vaccinated your dog but also serves as proof that the animal has been vaccinated. In a situation where you need to prove that your pet has been properly vaccinated, this licence comes to great use. Consider a situation where you may be travelling outside the country with your pet or in a more difficult situation where your pet may bite someone. In the case where your pet bites someone, the victim is at least reassured that the pet has been properly vaccinated, when presented with the pet licence.

What the dog license also does is to serve as the most official and legal document that stands as proof of ownership for any pet parent. In an unfortunate situation where one’s pet may run off or get lost, when found again, how would you show proof of ownership? Many pet parents believe that a simple picture with their pet should suffice here, but that is not always the case. There are instances of theft where a lawbreaker may attempt to steal your pet. A pet licence in this case would bring any debate or dispute over the ownership of the animal to a swift end in front of considered authorities. What is also good to know here is that registering your pet with the Kennel club of India also gives your pet a registration number as well as an RFID chip. Here the chip reader can be used to identify your pet at a dog pound if lost and found. Currently, people have had mixed experiences with chips in India. Some pet parents have found that the improper installation or the chip itself can lead to infections or other problems. However, in many cases when your pet is found again, for various reasons they may look very different and almost unrecognizable, so the RFID chip can play a very important role. 

Lastly, as you walk your dog around your housing society, your apartment complex or your neighbourhood park,have you ever noticed a sign that says dogs not allowed or that dogs are banned? For dogs with licenses, these signs are illegal to impose. Under sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code and the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, it is illegal to ban or bar dogs with licenses in such places. Interesting fact! Right? As long as you have that licence, there will no longer be a cause for baseless arguments with difficult neighbours or colony guards.

These are some of the major benefits of getting a pet licence, and now let’s look at the actual process to obtaining one. By and large the documents that are required by pet parents is a proof of address of the pet parent in the form of an Aadhaar Card, which is compulsory on most forms with the additional and optional inclusion of a PAN card, Driver’s Licence, and Voter ID.Passport size photos of the dog, animal’s age and date of birth, breed, colour, gender, identification marks, veterinary doctors’ name, and vaccination certificates against both Rabies and Leptospirosis are also required. Most application forms across cities will either ask for all of these documents or a part of them. Once the documents are in place, individuals can visit local city government authority websites or physical offices to fill out their applications to receive their dog licenses. The cost of a pet license varies among different states. For a first time registration there is usually a ‘first time registration’ fee in addition to the actual dog licence fee, which usually ranges from INR 75 to INR 200 a year depending on the city of registration. The pet licence fee also has to be renewed yearly to ensure that pets are keeping healthy and remain vaccinated. For pet parents who are getting their pets registered for the first time, but the pet may be an older one for e.g. 5 or 8 years of age, there is nothing to worry about, as you can still go in and get your pet license. The only difference will be that you would have to pay the pet licence fee in accordance with your pet’s age. So if the dog was 5 years old, you would pay the licence fee multiplied by 5 for previous years. After this you would be on a regular cycle for yearly renewal. 

For pet parents who do not want to get into the process of dealing with state authorities, we at PetKonnect have made this process very simple for you. Log onto our app or website follow some easy steps and get your pet licence from the comfort of your home, while we handle all the backend work for you!

*Author is the Founder of PetKonnect, India’s most comprehensive pet and animal services’ portal. The venture is Devanshi’s ode to her late Havanese dog, Hazel. After losing Hazel to an unfortunate medical crisis of blood loss, she became aware of the pet-care gaps in India. She envisions assisting pet parents in healthy parenting habits with the focus on pet inclusion and all-round care in society for animals.

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