Fines to muzzles: RWAs act tough amid dog bite cases
Times have become difficult for pet owners in high-rise colonies with residents' welfare associations (RWA) issuing arbitrary notices and imposing fines on them following a rise in cases of dog bites. Some RWAs have told owners that pets must not be taken in elevators and must have a muzzle on when walking out. Pet owners have cried foul terming this as harassment.
Why does this story matter?
- Recently, multiple cases of dog attacks made headlines after people, especially kids and elderly, were mauled by canines.
- As per the data presented in the Lok Sabha, from 2019 till today, India has witnessed 1.5 crore cases of dog bites. The maximum cases — over 27 lakh have been reported from Uttar Pradesh.
- This figure, however, includes incidents related to strays along with pets.
Muzzles amount to animal cruelty: Pet owners
The RWA of ATS Paradiso colony in Greater Noida has allegedly imposed Rs. 500 fine on two dog owners — one for the pet peeing in public and the other for being taken in the lift. Meanwhile, dog owners have retorted saying that there is no such law under which RWAs can restrict or penalize them. Moreover, muzzles amounted to animal cruelty, they said.
The owner received stark criticism for not acting
Pet Dog Bites A Child in Ghaziabad Housing Society Lift, Owner Looks On— Satya Tiwari (@SatyatTiwari) September 6, 2022
While the boy immediately reacted with pain and began jumping up and down on one foot, the woman did not react. Take a look at this bizarre video pic.twitter.com/74Z3jxr322
Will move court if needed, say dog owners
Kaveri Rana Bhadwaj, a former People For Animals (PFA) member, questioned the RWAs decision and said, "How are elderly persons residing on higher floors expected to take their dogs out?" Pet owners pointed out that unlike humans, dogs don't have epidermal sweat glands and need to breathe with their tongues out, and hence shouldn't be muzzled. They said they would move court, if needed.
Pitbull attacks 11-year-old at colony lawn
Back-to-back incidents have residents fearing for their kids, elderly
A resident of Ghaziabad was fined Rs. 5,000 and an FIR was registered after her pet dog bit a kid in the lift on Monday. Last Saturday in another Ghaziabad colony, a Pitbull attacked an 11-year-old boy, leaving him with 150 stitches on his face. In another incident from Panvel, Maharashtra, a dog bit a food delivery executive in the lift on August 29.
Owner drags the German Shephard as it bites delivery executive
Another incident of dog bite in Noida, a youth was attacked and bitten by a dog in a lift. pic.twitter.com/AjOvhZwmIU— Nikhil Choudhary (@NikhilCh_) September 7, 2022
Trends indicate dog bite cases could double from last year
The year 2019 witnessed over 72 lakh cases of animal bites, which fell to 46 lakh in 2020 before further declining to 17 lakh in 2021. This year, however, cases are again on the rise with over 14.5 lakh incidents reported in the first seven months. The pet dog population in India was about 2.14 crore in 2019, as per Statista.