By Priyanka Tanwar*
The Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation passed a proposal to regulate pet ownership in its municipal area on September 13, 2019. An expert committee has been formed to devise pet registration rules and decide the fine amount for people allowing their dog to poop in public spaces. The committee had first suggested `5000 as fees for the registration of pet dogs, which was later brought down to ₹`1000 after the civic body received several complaints by pet owners requesting a reduction in the steep amount.
The committee will first study pet registration charges and laws in different states of the country before starting with the task of formation of by-laws and other modalities for this planned move. The municipal board will also levy fines on pet owners found with unregistered pets. Moreover, the board has decided to penalise pet owners ₹500 every time their dog is found defecating in open areas. Dinesh Chandra Singh, Municipal Commissioner, said that the residents of Ghaziabad will be informed about the rules soon.
Creature Companion asked readers and followers to share their views on the issue of dog licensing and registration on our social media handles. Many pet parents came forward to share their thoughts on this vital topic.
Ketan Panchal, Founder K9 Academy shares, “Pet registration is a good idea. It would give your pet an identity and at the same time the pet parent will get more responsibility. As a dog father and a good civilian, you must keep your house and city clean. You must clean after your dog. I always carry potty bags when I take my dog out. I also train many dogs in Ahmedabad. I request everyone to clean after their pets. Society will accept you and your pet with love if you keep the area clean.”
Bhanu Maheshwari, pet parent to male Labrador Jojo, opines, “Having your dog registered with a kennel is one of the first things that should be done. Also, if you have a dog in a complex where other apartment owners consider you and your dog to be a nuisance, having your dog registered acts as an additional support. Moreover, no one likes to step in pet waste and spread it into homes. Even if there is no restriction, cleaning up after your pet is always the right thing to do. It’s the law!”
The funds from registration fees are used to support many noble causes across the globe such as animal shelters, investigations regarding cruelty to animals and emergency animal rescues during natural disasters. Not only this, pet licensing offers numerous benefits such as increasing vaccinations, reunion with lost pets and helps governments to maintain a registry of the pets in their area. Pet registration also helps to reduce the number of incidents pertaining to the defecation by pets in public areas and dog-bites in cities.
Creature Companion strongly supports the concept of responsible pet ownership and recommends that everyone owning a pet in India get their pets registered with their local civic bodies to ensure their safety and support the development of companion animal facilities across the nation.
PET REGISTRATION REGULATIONS INDIFFERENT INDIAN STATES
Today all major metropolitan cities of the country have some laws regarding lincensing of pets. Let’s take a look.
Delhi/NCR- According to Section 399 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, every dog owner should register his/her pet. The canine registration requirements include annual registration charges of `500 along with the dog’s vaccination proof, its picture and an identity proof stating its address and breed information.
Gurgaon- The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has a provision for pet registration, however it is not mandatory. Pet owners can register their dogs and cats by paying a fixed annual charge of `500 and providing requisite medical and neutering certificates.
Noida- Noida is yet to come up with any laws regarding pet registration.
Lucknow- Pet owners have to shell out yearly charges of `500, `300 and `200 for registration of big (Doberman, Labrador, German Shepherd); small (Shih Tzu, Pomeranian, Spitz) and local indie (Indian Pariah) dog breeds respectively. Failing to get your dog registered will lead to a heavy penalty of `5000.
Mumbai- Under Section 14, rule number 22(a) sub-clause 386 of Maharashtra Municipal Provincial Act, every pet owner must obtain a dog license for his/her pet canine. The pet parent needs to submit a valid address proof; a passport size picture of the dog; latest vaccination card with owner’s full name, address, contact number, and name of the vet along with the issuing clinic; and fees of `75 for new registration and `50 as renewal charges.
Bengaluru- Bruhat Bengaluru MahanagaraPalike (BBMP) had issued pet licensing by-laws in 2018, according to which pet dogs had been capped at one per apartment and three per independent house in the metropolitan city. The municipal body had further issued a list of 64 approved breeds for apartments. To get their pets registered, pet owners needed to provide BBMP with updated vaccination records of their pets along with the pet’s details like name, age, breed; and their name and contact details. The license fee was `110 for the initial year. However, the bylaws were withdrawn by the municipal authority after several complaints were received from residents regarding their unsuitability.
Guwahati- Registration of pet dogs over three months of age is mandatory under the GMC Act, failing which erring pet parents are punishable under law. The responsibility for registration falls on the NGO/society, which is allowed to collect `100 as registration fees and `10 as application fees per dog from owners. The NGO/society is then to collect the Metal Tag from GMC Veterinary branch after payment of `60 per dog and get the signed registration certificate from the GMC Veterinary Officer after submitting photograph of pet owner with dog along with duly filled in form A and B of Levy of Tax on Dogs kept within the city of Guwahati Byelaws, 1975.
Pune- Pune Municipal Corporation accepts advanced registration charges of INR 500 for a period of ten years (`50 per year). Owners need to submit three passport size photographs of the pet along with its anti-rabies certificate and owner’s address proof. However, the pet needs to be re-registered at the municipal body’s ward office each year.
Indore – According to registration procedures laid down by the Indore Municipal Corporation, pet owners just need to visit the nearest government veterinary clinic along with their pet and its latest vaccination records and submit a nominal annual amount of `100 to procure a pet license.
Chennai– The health department of Greater Chennai Corporation issues the mandatory dog license to pet parents after collecting a registration fee of `50. The registration comes along with free immunisation for canines at corporation-run pet clinics across the city. Pet parents need to supply the pet’s details including name, colour, breed and age with their full name and contact details. GCC is also planning to take the registration procedure online and considering to revise the annual license charges.
Chandigarh– The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (CMC) has issued Chandigarh Registration of Pet Dog Bylaws, 2010 under which it is mandatory for pet owners to register their pets exceeding the age of four months with the civic body. Not more than 2 dogs per family are allowed. Blind persons are exempted from the licensing amount and the registration will remain valid till the pet is alive.
PET LICENSE LAWS ACROSS THE GLOBE
Toronto, Canada- Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349 makes it mandatory for pet parents to get individual licenses for all dogs and cats owned by them. The pets can be registered online, in person, by phone or mail by filling a simple Pet Registration Application along with the owner’s credit card and the name and contact details of the pets’ vet. ID tags are included as part of the annual license fees, which is $60 for dogs and $50 for cats.
Germany- Most European countries abolished the practice of Dog Tax in the 20th Century, however, the German authorities stubbornly refuse to scrape off this law. Pet parents in Germany are, therefore, required to pay the mandatory Dog Tax (Hundesteuer) according to the number of canines they own. Service dogs are exempt from the Hundesteuer and so are rescue dogs in their first year of adoption.
New Zealand- The country has formulated regulations for canine licensing and registration under the Dog Control Act 1996. All dogs over 3 months of age need to be registered with their city or district council. The licensed dogs are required to wear a tag indicating the council, registration number and registration expiry date. Registration charges vary according to council, neuter status, urban/rural accommodation, dangerous/menacing nature and other factors. Registration fees are lower for working dogs while disabled canines are exempted from these costs.