KOCHI: On August, the High Court directed the corporations of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Thrissur, Kochi, Kozhikode and Kannur to immediately take steps to register/licence pet dogs within their limits.
However, some outdated rules are preventing pet parents (pet owners) from getting the mandatory licences from their local bodies. Following this, animal welfare organisations have demanded an updated rule and a single-window sanctioning system to approve the licences to facilitate pet registration.
The court had also directed that the corporations should identify suitable locations within their limits to be designated as feeding points for community dogs and place signposts at the locations. The court issued the order on suo motu proceedings on the brutal killing of dogs in the state. Ambili Purakkal, the founder of animal welfare organisation Daya, said many pet parents were calling them in distress as they were turned down by their local bodies while trying to register their pets.
“The procedure is very simple. All the corporations, municipalities and panchayats have at least one veterinary clinic or private hospital that can give rabies vaccination to the pets. The hospital/clinic will give the pet parent a receipt after successful vaccination. The owner has to go to the local body concerned and submit an application to get the licence with that receipt. However, many officials are denying the registration pointing that there is no cage or the pet was not chained,” Ambili said.
She added that nobody wanted to chain their pets in the changing world and it is especially difficult as many live in flats. “For pets living in the flats, it is impractical to keep a cage/kennel outside the building, since we can not keep an eye on them,” she said. She added that the organisation has started a technical team for the animal birth control project (ABC) in Thrikkakara municipality.
“Recognised animal welfare organisations are eligible to start ABC programmes,” said Ambili, a recognised paraveterinary practitioner. Daya has been recognised by the Animal Welfare Board of India. It had successfully implemented the project in Muvattupuzha municipality in 2007 and 2009.
There is also a technical team of vets in Daya, who can guide animal handlers and implement the ABC programme. The team is named Daya’s Technical Team for ABC (DATTA). “DATTA aims to transform Kerala into an animal-friendly state. That will improve the image of the state, which is already tarnished due to the many killings of the animals,” said Ambili.
At the ABC centre, two veterinary surgeons and animal handlers are guided by Dr Kishor Janardhanan and Dr Ramesh Pulikkan. Dr Sonika Sathish, who is also part of the project, said there should be modifications to the existing rules. “These days, many of the pets are being raised indoors and semi-indoors. So, the
stipulation that there should be a cage is not practical,” she said.