Vikash Sharma

The capital city of Bhubaneswar recently witnessed chaotic scenes after an American Akita breed pet dog bit a schoolboy at Tapaswini Colony. The parents of the victim boy and the pet owner were at loggerheads over the issue and the canine was taken to a dog care centre on Wednesday.

Keeping this in mind, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to come up with a comprehensive guideline for keeping pet animals so that such incidents do not recur.

BMC Commissioner Vijay Amrut Kulange said, “BMC will soon come up with a guideline for those people who want to keep animals as pets including dogs and cows.”

The BMC Commissioner urged pet owners to ensure that there is adequate space within their own houses for keeping animals. In the guideline, there will be provision to give prominence to complaints about whether any pet animal is creating trouble for neighbours and others in respective areas or colonies within Bhubaneswar.

As per the Animal Welfare Board directions, there are guidelines for pet animals in various cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Bengaluru and Cochin. Senior BMC officials said that the proposed guidelines will be drafted keeping these issues in mind and at the same time the existing rules and guidelines implemented in other cities will also be examined.

As per the proposals, the pet owners will have to voluntarily declare and share information about the animals and ensure that the animals are duly taken care of. Similarly, there would be teams who will conduct surprise checks and verification.

Dog lover, Shakti Patnaik said, “Dog and other animals are our friends. We want that adequate awareness is created and a clear picture needs to come with cooperation from all.”

Tarak Mohanty, a dog owner said, “BMC needs to check the breed of animals and come up with guidelines subsequently.” Pet owners need to ensure that their animals are vaccinated and need to follow certain rules while taking them out of their houses. Appropriate action will be taken against those who will be found violating the new guidelines, said Kulange adding, "The new guidelines will ensure that pet owners, animal activists and other people will not face any issues, rather benefit from it."