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HomeOpinionBengaluru has an ‘approved list’ for pets and your Golden Retriever didn’t...

Bengaluru has an ‘approved list’ for pets and your Golden Retriever didn’t make it

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Neither did Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, Boxers, or Indian dogs. The new rules also require owners to muzzle their German Shepherds.

I am a mother to seven dogs. I didn’t intend to have so many, but it just so happened that they were either abandoned by their previous owners or released from laboratories after being used to test pharmaceutical drugs. Each of them came to me because they had nowhere else to go.

And now, with deep dread, I read through the new bye-laws that my city’s civic body BBMP (Bengaluru Municipal Corporation) has brought for pet ownership. The rules allow only one dog per apartment and three per independent house.

First of all, it is my constitutional right as a citizen of this country to have as many dogs as I want, especially, if I have the financial means to take care of them, take them for walks on a leash, pick up their poop, and ensure they are well behaved in public.

We are also being told that we could choose which dogs we wanted to keep and surrender the “extra dogs” to shelters. Shelter phone lines are ringing off the hook with panicking families calling them to take in their dogs. Now, which shelter has the space to take in thousands of such dogs? We already know of one case where a dog was dumped on the highway, probably by a family that feared the ire of their apartment owner. Such is the fear among people.

The bye-laws list 64 dog breeds “approved” to live in apartments. I have lived with dogs every single day of my life; I work with dogs day in and day out, with rescue and re-homing. I have never heard of more than half the dog breeds on that list. They don’t have common breeds like Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Boxers, etc. on that list, but you can find them in our shelters.

What’s more, they have even forgotten to add our own Indian Native Dog on this exalted list — this breed is found on our streets in the thousands and deserve to be in homes. Instead, you have the Chinese Temple Dog, Bolognese, Hairless Dog etc in the list. It has come to light that this list has just been picked up from Singapore’s housing and development board guidelines. When these babus went on study tours to Singapore, we were hoping for better roads, solid waste management system and mass public transport. Instead, we get slammed with this.

Misinformation in the air

They have even listed the breeds that will have to wear muzzles in public. These include Rottweilers, German Shepherds, among many others that I haven’t heard of. One that I have heard of, however, is the Cane Corso Mastiff. The light of my life, Xena, belongs to the breed, and came home to us after having spent nearly three years in a shelter. She comes from extreme abuse, and hates wearing a muzzle. She enjoys her walks, minds her own business when out. Why should she wear a muzzle?

File image of a German Shepherd puppy | Pixabay

We got a frantic call from a person who had recently got a Rottweiler puppy. After reading the bye-laws, he thought the breed was a ferocious one that needed to be muzzled at all times in public and would probably attack his family. The puppy has been surrendered and will now need a new home. While we work so hard to educate people not to have breed biases, we now have to deal with this.

BBMP needs to focus their energies on two aspects, both of which they have been colossal failures at.

One is to set up a robust ABC programme for our stray dogs to manage their population. Litters of puppies are being born, which must be rescued off the roads due to a growing man-animal conflict.

Second is to regulate the breeding industry. Litters of puppies are produced, sold and bought like commodities. Dogs the breeders no longer have use for are dumped on the streets, and puppies are given up due to health issues or simply when they are not cute anymore. Welfare workers are constantly cleaning up the mess.

Families stick together

Most of our homes are full of multiple dogs because they need a home too. This bye-law will also reduce the chances of future rescued dogs from getting placed with loving families.

In the past three days, however, citizens have pushed back. We started a campaign called #NotWithoutMyDog to let the authorities know that we will fight to the finish to keep our pets.

The online signature campaign has crossed over 12,000 signatures in three days, the hashtag was trending on Twitter this week, and has gone viral on Instagram and Facebook. People from outside Bengaluru as well as families without dogs are standing with us in solidarity. Mass media channels had no choice but to pick up our story.

A group of us met the mayor and the joint Commissioner of BBMP Wednesday. The public outcry has reached their ears. The bye-laws have been put on hold till the next council meeting is held on 16 June. Legal recourse is also being taken with organisations filing writ petitions and citizens filing PILs against the draconian, unconstitutional bye-laws. Families are meant to stick together; we will not turn our backs on our dogs.

Chinthana Gopinath is a volunteer with a Bengaluru-based group, Compassion Plus Action Unlimited, that rescues and ‘re-homes’ dogs. She also runs a dog bakery called Pupcake.

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  1. Instead of providing more facility for dog like dog park in every locality, so dog can play and enjoy life happily. BBMP is coming with up this non sense law.
    Why they don’t make similar law for people living in Bangalore, to control population. BBMP is not able to provide proper road, water etc etc in Bangalore. But they are worried about dogs. Are we asking BBMP to pay money for our dog.

  2. Me again an animal lover cannot think of a life without dog I have 3 at home two of them them rescued indie pups and 3 more in my residential society as feeder, already confronting lot of hatered and oppose from other society residents. It is my life no-one can choose and impose unjustified laws on me unless my pets create any problems to anyone….this is wrong…!!!!!!

  3. Why do some people have so much negativity towards one of the most beautiful creature ‘dogs’. There life span is very short yet we mistreat them. They are so nice as long as or if not; we are nice to them. Please let make these beautiful creature live life happily. #NOT WITHOUT OUR DOGS.

  4. It’s true that we require a change. The change however is needed for issues that affect the society as a whole. There’s no need to tamper with rules and regulations which are neither harmful nor threatening. Dogs are a part of the family. Instead of limiting dogs, let’s try and enforce better family planning measures and limit our population.

  5. It’s a pity that hapless dogs, the light of our lives, are being treated like this. Pity, too, that rapists and paedophiles, wife beaters and husband harassers get away to do their thing.

  6. Are they crazy!! It’s like putting a law that only boy child is allowed to be conceived and not girl child! Dumb decision! It’s my choice which dog I want adopt! Why should I buy a breed?
    Now that they have cleared all the job of fixing roads and potholes, they have come upon the only issue left! Making pet owners life miserable!

  7. So what do the ppl with ‘not approved’ dogs do? I’m a Kannadiga residing in Hyderabad planning to return to Bangalore with my cocker spaniel. With this rule in place, i might not return at all. Arbitrary rules is all i can say!

  8. The whole byelaw should be scrapped …who passes these laws illiterate uncivilized seeped in ugnorance ..this law will fail …DOGS (I REALLY DONT LIKE TO CALL THESE PETS DOGS ….THEY ARE LOVE PERSONIFIED …this law in Behguluru will FAIL ..CRAP

  9. The best shelter home for the dogs is the parliament (Vindhan Soudha). Humans in khadhi’s out there, don’t have any sense. Atleast I’m sure dogs have better sense.

    First solve the bloody garbage issue in the city then try getting laws for dogs.

  10. See the irony of India. No body is talking about the population control (of humans) which is a major problem for unemployment, economic growth etc. But Benguluru municipality is taking care of dog population. People who can really love them, feed them, and who can provide them a loving home and family for them are the victim….. Pathetic

    Sorry to say this that ,I’m happy as I am not staying I bengaluru.

  11. Atrocious rules by people who are insensitive and immorale,Those who take care of multiple dogs are doing so because most of these dogs happened to be abandoned by heartless, before they pass such rules let these politicians cleanse human indignity and refrain themselves from having multiple wives and concubines.

    Such strong language should be used for the heartless.

  12. We are living in a civilized society not in any ” jungle Raaj” where authorities a passing such stupid laws. The pets are our family members. Just ask them if tomorrow Govt adopts one child policy will they throw their second kid ? It’s totally rubbish .

  13. I totally agree I had 5 dogs all because they were stray and being abused by people. Where can I sign the petition as well.

  14. Disgusting the breeders are an issue people who should adopt but buy are another issue so if I decide to have dogs then is it anybody’s business but mine.So it’s don’t look at the main cause but give a stupid solution.What happens to the homeless strays who are abandoned and who are adopted can you just turn them out.If I want a companion for my dog can you deny me the option.If I can get dogs of the street and give them a better life,should I not do it.The best thing is to fix the breeders.So that unnecessary dog breeding does not happen and make it a point to see that strays are adopted and are homed.Its sad that India as a country seems to be becoming more anti dogs but cows are being cared for.Ver sad hope this barbaric resolution does not come through like the China one child policy which has led to injustice.We have you stop this resolution.

  15. Technology city of India.

    But when it comes to psychological aspect.
    The dumb authority.

    Why would you make such laws.
    Anyone can have as much pet or any breed of pet as they want as long as they take care of them, control them.

    Instead make a law in which any unleashed dogs found on the street without the owner would be send to shelter, every pet should wear a tag with owners phone number.

    Pets and their owner have a strong emotional bond , you can’t just ask the owner to pick which she/he wants to keep and the rest to let them go to shelter. That’s inhumane.
    Only pet lover would understand.
    It’s like choose one among 4 of your children and the rest will be taken away from you to live in an orphanage home.

  16. Idiots will hire idiots to take care of things. The personnel in charge of affairs has to be qualified and have at least a little bit of sense if not a lot. Why would anyone keep such rules?/shows the entire govt need s to be replaced along with all the officials.

  17. Agree . This is absolute rubbish . Who frames these rules and who approves it . They obviously don’t seem to have a clue . On the other hand there are some people who are afraid of pets and go about advocating on how dogs should not be kept , be walked , where to be walked etc . What happened to live and let live ? How can the thought of abondoning such lovely creatures even come to ones mind. Ridiculous and regressive !!!!!

  18. Maharajah Yudhistira did not give up his dog even to enter the gates of heaven. He told “This creature is dependent upon me. Therefore, I will never abandon it!”

  19. Do you even realize how misleading your article really is.
    Point 1) It is not yet a by-law !! It is a “PROPOSED” by-law.
    Point 2) The court has already put a stay on it.
    Point 3) Instead of putting the idea of shelters in the minds of pet owners you should be educating them of their rights.
    As a pet owner/lover/lawyer i found this article very misleading. Feels you’re trying to push the idea of shelters in the minds of people.

  20. Animals have right to live. There are thousands of dog died because of human behavior. Now this stupid rules. File case against municipal .For animal absument. Shamed on bengaluru govt

  21. BBMP shuld focus on stray dogs and puppies being dumped rather framing idiotic rules which doesnt making any sense.Yaar aap log roads sanitation ke baare mein socho….Galli galli mein khambe khambe pe jo bade bade posters latke rehte hi politicians ki birthday wishes ki jo dangerous hi pedistrians ko gaadi chalane walon ko uske baare mein socho..Ghar me machhor ho tau machhar ko maarne ki baare sochna hi ye tau ghar ko hi jalane pe utar aaye hi..

  22. Don’t know why the stupid bbmp is worried about dogs when they need to rather spend their time worrying about the condition of roads in Bangalore… #mydogisfamily

  23. # There is no lack of stupid nd clumsy rules framed by Authorities with bereft of being aware of existing reality !
    Breeders nd open sale of puppies with least health care.
    Joker’s in the helm affairs hv least concern to human or animals who shelter..

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