BBMP is working on making dog licence a must. Every year only 1500-2000 dogs are being licensed
Despite various campaigns and awareness programmes conducted by BBMP and organizations for dogs, not many Bengalureans are keen on getting licences for their furry friends.
“I have an Indie dog which I adopted one year ago from an organization. We got a licence for him from the Jayanagar BBMP office. But after that, we didn’t renew it. There is no particular reason for us not to renew it; but renewing it every year is difficult,” Rohini, volunteer with an NGO, informed The Observer.
Aruna N, who owns an 11-year-old Cocker Spaniel named Toffy, said: “It is not difficult to renew as they conduct campaigns at a lot of places. Recently I heard about a campaign in Cubbon Park. But I’m not really up to it.”
Shivaprakash, a security guard who takes care of three-year-old Bono, a Golden Retriever, shared: “I don’t think the owner got him a licence. I never took him to apply or renew it. They don’t have time for this. We got a collar that has the owner’s number on it… in case if he gets lost.”
As per Section 344 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, keeping and feeding animals and birds without the permission of the municipal commissioner or the officer concerned is strictly prohibited. BBMP is still working on making the rule mandatory in Bengaluru.
“Dog owners neglect to get licences for their pets since it is not compulsory. They care for their dogs very much and vaccinate them properly, but are not likely to get licences. The health condition and vaccination status are checked while licensing. It ensures that the dog is safe and human-friendly. We provide them with a licence book and a badge (with the owner’s name and address) to be attached to the dog’s collar after checking all this,” said Dr Manjunath Shinde, assistant director of animal husbandry, BBMP.
The BBMP is working towards making dog licences compulsory. Every year, 1,500-2,000 dogs are licensed, he added.
During pet licensing, dog owners are asked to bring the original, and a copy, of their dog’s vaccination card along with a pet parent’s identity and address proof. The licence expires on March 31 every year. So the pet owners are supposed to renew it every year. BBMP charges Rs 110 for the process.
Bangalore Pets and Animal Licensing, an online platform, provides free microchips for dogs along with licence. Punith Kumar, founder of the organization, said: “Pet owners neglect acquiring licences due to lack of accessibility. BBMP tells the pet owners to get licences at the nearby BBMP office, whereas if the nearby office is just a ward office, it doesn’t have an animal husbandry representative. Pet owners need to go to the nearby BBMP zone office to get or renew a licence. There are objections from animal activists to the pet owners paying Rs 110 for the licensing.”
“If a licensed dog gets lost, the animal husbandry (Department) and organizations take initiatives to find it. Even if a pet dog is found on the street with a microchip, we scan it and try to find the owner. If that is not possible, then the dog gets a new parent.”
If a licensed pet dog is found on the streets, it is taken to the Municipal Animal Shelter. These dogs are kept longer in shelters and are less likely to be euthanized. The shelter tries its best to find the dog owner and return it.
Cubbon Park Canines (CPC), a Facebook-based organization for dogs, along with BBMP, conducts pet dog-licensing drives at Cubbon Park on selected Sundays. So far, they have conducted five such drives. CPC provides free medical check-ups and subsidized rabies vaccination on campaign days.
Bangalore Pets and Animal Licensing says that due to the resistance from animal rights activists, the online application form for pet licensing is unavailable.
In June 2018, BBMP proposed a new rule on dogs. It made dog collars with a microchip and embedded GPS compulsory. It said people living in apartments were allowed to have only one dog, while owners of independent houses could own up to three dogs; if an unlicensed dog showed sign of rabies, it can be treated as a stray dog and euthanized. It proposed a fine of Rs 1,000 for violation of the rule.
The measure was taken back following criticism from activists and dog owners.