CHENNAI: The Puducherry Municipality’s recent order to ban bringing dogs to the Beach Promenade in the mornings and evenings, has stirred up a hornet’s nest among pet owners in the city. The ban was imposed after the Municipality Commissioner R Chandrasekaran claimed to have received several complaints from the public and beach walkers. “Humans throw wine bottles, defecate and create a nuisance, which is worse than what animals do and the municipality wants to ban taking pets out?. Makes no sense at all,” says Tarun Kanula, a class 12 student.
Pet owners also feel that the curfew time for taking pets out is unreasonable, “Pets usually like being taken out in the evenings when the sun sets. They feel relaxed and enjoy the climate, but the Pondy authorities have further banned taking them out between from 5 - 8 am and 5 - 11 pm. I hope they are well informed about the different kinds of strokes and diseases excessive sun exposure can cause to them,” says Vibha Vasan, owner of a Labrador and a resident of Adyar.
While animal lovers are against the ban, others feel that such stringent measures are necessary, not only on the Beach Road but in other beaches and parks as well, “I have personally come across pet owners who simply unleash their dogs which go and scare people and create a ruckus and defecate anywhere and everywhere. There must be some sort of responsibility, if it doesn’t come on its own I see no wrong on its strict imposition,” says L Parvathi, a resident of Teynampet.
However Animal Activists find such impositions crude and unnecessary, “Pet owners need to learn how to control their pets. Banning will not help, it will only worsen the situation,” says Arun Prasanna from People From Cattle In India (PFCI). “I hope such a situation doesn’t come about in Chennai. Even if it does we’ll fight it out,” he adds.