Keeping Pets in Your Apartment: Do’s & Don’ts
Our furry friends have become a bigger part of our lives. Animal lovers consider their pets no less than family. While you may be comfortable living with your pets, it may not be the same for your apartment neighbors.
There have been instances when families moving into apartments had to give away their beloved dogs for adoption or even resort to smuggling their cats in for fear of backlash from associations or residents. The good news is that law favours pet ownership irrespective of where you stay.
Pet Laws in India That Animal Lovers Must Know
According to Section11(3) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 states that it is illegal for housing societies to pass a resolution disallowing pets in apartments. In fact, many apartment complexes are adopting pet-friendly policies to meet the needs of pet owners.
As per Article 51 A (g) of the Indian Constitution, it is the duty of every citizen to have compassion towards animals, living creatures and improve the natural environment.
Pet owners in the apartments are strictly required to abide by the Municipal Sanitary By-Laws or other Regulations, including SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The Government of Karnataka put out a circular in July 2020 with detailed guidelines for Resident Welfare Associations and Apartment Owners Association for the protection of pets and stray animals.
Here are a few key rules from the Animal Welfare Board of India that pet owners must be aware about:
- Any ban on keeping pets cannot be introduced by society by amending the by-laws.
- Having pets is a fundamental freedom guaranteed to the citizens of India.
- By keeping pets in apartments, owners are not violating any municipal law.
- Hostility or aggressive behaviour towards a pet is not allowed.
- Pets cannot be banned from using lifts by the RWAs (Resident Welfare Association).
- Barking of dogs is not be considered a valid reason to ban them from an apartment.
- Society cannot pass any notice regarding the size or breed of dogs.
Choosing the Right Apartment
The Animal Welfare Board of India has laid out legalities and policies for keeping pets in apartments. That said, pet rules for apartments can be different based on builders or localities.
Look for an apartment community that offers pet-friendly amenities such as open floors for you to keep an eye on them, private balconies to allow them some fresh air, pet parks or community dog runs and more. Ensure the apartment has the right space and surroundings to keep your pets happy.
While there’s no law to disallow animal lovers from keeping their pets, there is a need to follow basic guidelines for pet owners living in apartments.
- Make sure that the breed or type of pet you choose is suited to your lifestyle.
- Train your pet if you leave them alone at home lest they create noise in distress.
- Use the same area for relieving your dogs every day without causing inconvenience to others. Use a waste scooper and pick up after your pets.
- Ensure that your pet doesn’t cause any nuisance to the neighbourhood.
- Use a leash when walking them within premises or in common areas
- Ensure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Neutered pets are more docile, especially with little children around.
- Don’t forget to understand the rules of the apartment before renting or buying one.
- Don’t let the children tease your pet; it might cause them to react badly.
- Don’t try to hide pets or keep them without permission; always comply with the apartment pet policy.
- Don’t bring your pet to the pool as this is a sanitation & property issue.
- Don’t encourage incessant barking or meowing. Address it right away with play distractions or walking the pets.
- Don’t rule out professional training if your dog has aggressive behavior that needs to be corrected.
What If Your Apartment Bans Pets?
- Print a copy of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) notification and share it with your RWA.
- Insist that the rights of pet owners are taken into account while framing any by-laws
- Collaborate with other pet owners in society and come up with a solution that considers the interests of other residents too.
- Get help from Animal Welfare NGOs for support. Consult a legal expert if the matter gets serious.
With the laws for pet owners living in apartments in India, you can keep your pets safe without worry.
The Apartment Owners Associations at some flagship Brigade properties in Bangalore like Brigade Omega and Brigade Metropolis have a series of policies to safeguard the rights of pets, their owners and other residents. The residents can keep domestic pets like cats, dogs, fish, hamsters and guinea pigs after filling out a Pet Registration Form.
Most of the Brigade Group projects are 100% pet-friendly. Check out Brigade Orchards, our 135-acre Integrated Smart Township in Devanahalli, North Bengaluru, where there are plenty of green open spaces for your furry friends.