Indira Gopal Krishna decided to file a writ petition with the state High Court after the new rules were introduced by the BBMP.

Fighting for my family Bluru dog owner files petition against BBMPs new pet rule
news Animal Rights Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 19:10

A few months ago, an elementary school teacher from Sadananda Nagar in Bengaluru, Indira Gopal Krishna adopted Heidi, an Albino Great Dane from an adoption centre in the city.

Heidi is visually impaired and has hearing disabilities and was abandoned by a breeder as a result. Heidi, however is smart. She can tell that Indira’s 6-year-old daughter is smaller than her, she knows which direction Indira is walking by and can literally sniff out the distance at which one of her family members is located.

Indira also has an Indie and two Golden Retrievers – both epileptic. Unable to bear the thought of being separated from her “children”, due to the BBMP’s proposed byelaw of “one dog per apartment”, she decided to file a writ petition with the Karnataka High Court.

On Friday, Indira’s writ petition was submitted to a bench headed by Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Krishna S Dixit. The case has been adjourned till June 20.

The BBMP's new pet licensing byelaw says that someone living in an apartment can have only one dog, while those living in a house can have three dogs. What’s more, the BBMP even has an approved list of dogs which are allowed in residences – the indie or the Indian street dog is not on this list.

In her petition, Indira has claimed that the notification was arbitrary and had not taken into account the existing laws and that it had been passed without any application of mind.

“Why was the notification not published in a local newspaper as required under Section 426 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act of 1976?” she questioned.

She alleges that the notification ignored the guidelines prescribed by the Animal Welfare Board of India with respect to pet and street dogs, their caregivers, and above all residents’ welfare associations and apartment owners associations did not have any say in pet ownership.

She also contended that the notification violates Section 3 of the Prevention of the Cruelty Animals Act, 1960.

“My dogs need special care. Two of them are epileptic, one is visually impaired and has a hearing disability. When the news came that I could keep only one dog, I thought – who will take care of my dogs now? Will the BBMP be able to give them the same amount of care? What am I going to tell my daughter? She thinks of the dogs as her sisters. I decided to fight and I had to set an example and show my daughter to fight for her rights and for family members,” Indira says.

Earlier in June, the BBMP, without consulting the public, had issued the notification on pet regulation in areas within its jurisdiction.

Although several aspects of the bye-laws like pet licensing and fines for not cleaning up after pets, were lauded by people, the rules about the number of pets one can own and the “acceptable breeds” had generated a lot of public outrage with even the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka condemning the byelaw.

“I saw so many passionate people come out and protest and so many activists who decided to fight. I am not a part of any group. I am just a resident who has four dogs and I love them, so I wanted to fight back,” Indira says.

 

 

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