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  Home >> Animal Issues - Stray Dogs >> High Court Order 5 Oct 1988 for stray dogs

If you spot a dog in trouble, do call the appropriate BMC Dog Cell below:
23085118 - Island City
25094161 - Central Suburbs
26422672 - Bandra to Andheri
28808206 - Western Suburbs - Jogeshwari to Dahisar 

High Court Monitoring Committee for Stray Dogs   Date- Dec 05, 2005
Organisation Person(s) Tel no(s)  email id 
AHIMSA Praful Shah   28823742, 
All India Animal Welfare Association Jigeesha Thakore  2309 4077 
BMC, Chairman Dr Damle, Dir Health Services 23082714/17  
BMC Public health deptt Dr Patkar 22620588  
  Dr Rasalkar 22620588  
BSPCA Lt Col. J. C. Khanna  2413 5434, 
Bombay Humanitarian League   23446024  
Dr. (Miss) P Lakahni / Lakshmi Padmanabhan?      
Animal Welfare Board of India Mangal Prabhat Lodha 24968184 - 88  
In Defence of Animals Mrs Patkar / 
Fizzah Shah
24142195 / 
24143412 / 
Maharashtra Animal Welfare Board Mr Bittu Sahgal 23016848
Mrs Rita Deepak Vazirani ex- PFA 25227744 
People for Animals Dharmesh Solanki 56242112 
The Welfare of Stray Dogs Abodh Aras  23733433 / 
Viniyog Parivar Trust Atul V Shah 28870054 


WRIT PETITION NO. 1596 OF 1998  

Viniyog  Parivar Trust & Anr. …………………..……….Petitioners  


Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai & Ors.…………………………………Respondents  

Mr. Milind Sathe with Mr. K K. Tated(?) for petitioners  

Mr. P V Naik with Dr. D V Chandrachud for Respondents 1 & 2  

Mr. H A Desai   1/by  H/e Thakore Jariwala & Co. for Interveners  

Ms. S Hutalik for Respondent No. 3  

Ms. A Kaushik for Respondent No.5  

Mr. J B Lontin, Intervener, Present.  

           CORAM:     M. B. SHAH,  C. J. & 

           DATE:       5TH OCTOBER 1998


  1. The learned Counsel for the parties and interveners have submitted an agreed, Comprehensive Guidelines for Dog control and management. The learned Counsel appearing for the Municipal Corporation states that the Corporation would implement the said Guidelines.
  1. The Guidelines are as follows:-

                                I.      Preamble:  

The issue of dog control and management has been engaging the attention of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai as well as various non-governmental organisations engaged in animal welfare in general and welfare of stray dogs in particular. The Animal Welfare Board of India has also paid specific attention to this issue and has framed guidelines as per the recommendation of the sub-committee, some years ago. The system of       indiscriminate destruction of stray dogs to minimise the incidences of rabies and controlling their population has not succeeded. Hence, there is need to evolve more effective, result-oriented guidelines for dog control and management. In furtherance of this aim the following guidelines are being framed for observance in the city of Mumbai by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai in co-ordination and co-operation with various animal welfare organisations.  

                             II.      Objectives:  

1)      The primary objective is to evolve means to control the population of dogs, to achieve its gradual reduction and stabilize the same on a long-term basis and thereby to control and reduce the incidences of rabies.  

2)      In order to achieve the main objective as above, to evolve methods of catching, transportation, sterilization, immunization, treatment of diseased dogs and killing of rabid, critically ill, fatally injured dogs upon their verification by a veterinarian.  

                            III.      Classification of dogs:  

All dogs will be classified in one of the following two categories:  

(i) Pet dogs       (ii) Stray dogs  

a)      Pet dogs owners shall be fully responsible for the controlled breeding, immunization, sterilization and licensing provisions as required by the Municipal/ State laws.  

b)      These guidelines will be applicable for stray dogs who shall be sterilized and immunized by active participation of animal welfare organisations/private individuals with adequate financial and infrastructural support from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.  

c)      In the inevitable incidences where a rabid dog or a critically ill dog or a fatally injured dog needs to be put to sleep to alleviate its sufferings, the methodology for the same shall be in line with these guidelines.

                          IV.      Creation  of a Competent Authority or a Monitoring Committee for implementation of guidelines:  

In order to ensure effective compliance with these guidelines and for effecting necessary changes as the scheme evolves, a monitoring committee consisting of following persons will be established:-  

1)      One of the incumbents, Deputy Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, who will be the ex-officio Chairman of the committee.  

2)      A representative of the Public Health Department of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.  

3)      A representative of the Bombay Society for Prevention of Cruelties to Animals.  

4)      One representative each of the following animal welfare organizations:

a)      AHIMSA

b)      All India Animal Welfare Association

c)      In Defence of Animals

d)      The Welfare of Stray Dogs

e)      Bombay Humanitarian League

f)        People for Animals  

5)      Mrs. Rita Deepak Vazirani, an Animal Welfare activist  

6)      Shri Bittu Sehgal, a member of Maharashtra Animal Welfare Board  

7)      Shri Mangal Prabhat Lodha, member of the Maharashtra State Committee of the Animal Welfare Board of India.  

8)      Shri Atul V Shah, representative of Viniyog Parivar Trust who shall be the convener of the Committee.  

9)      Dr. (Miss) P Lakahni, a veterinarian and animal welfare activist.  

The committee will evolve its own modalition for functioning.  

                             V.      Functions of the Committee:  

The above Committee will be responsible for planning and management of dog control programmes according to these guidelines and will:

a)      issue instructions for catching, transportation, sheltering, sterilization, vaccination, treatment and release of sterilized/ vaccinated/ treated dogs.  

b)      the veterinary doctor who is a member of the above Committee will decide on case to case basis the need to put to sleep dogs which are critically ill/fatally injured/rabid.  

c)      create public awareness, solicit co-operation and funding.  

d)      provide guidelines to pet dog owners and commercial breeders from time to time.  

e)      keep a watch on the national and international developments in the field of research etc. pertaining to stray dogs control and management, development of vaccines and    effective methods of sterilization, vaccination etc.  

The members of the Committee shall provide their services honorarily. 

                          VI.      Infrastructure facilities to be provided by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai for the programme:  

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai shall provide the following infrastructural facilities for implementation of the programme:  

a)      Three or more dog vans for capture of dogs attached to each of the dog pounds in the city i.e. Mahalaxmi, Malad and Deonar.  

b)      Free water and electricity to be provided to each of the three dog pounds.  

c)      Periodical repairs to the dog pounds buildings to be done by the Corporation.  

d)      One driver and two trained dog-catchers to be provided to each dog van and these shall be the employees of the Corporation.  

e)      An ambulance cum-clinical van to be provided as mobile center for sterilization / immunisation. The driver of the ambulance van will be an employee of the Corporation and the medical personal will be provided by the Bombay S.P.C.A.  

f)        Incinerators shall be installed by the Corporation at each of the dog pounds.  

g)      The NGOs will be reimbursed the expenses of sterilization/ immunization at a rate fixed by the monitoring committee on fortnightly basis bases on number of sterilization/ immunization done.    

                        VII.      Rules for capturing, sterilization, immunization and  of dogs:  

1)      Capturing of dogs will be based on:  

a)      Specific complaints (for which the corporation shall set up a cell to receive complaints about dog nuisance, dog bites and information about rabid dogs) and  

b)      General (in the normal courses of implementing these guidelines)  

a)      On receipt of specific complaint nuisance of dog bite, the same shall be attended on priority basis, irrespective of the area from which the complaint comes. On receipt of such complaint the details such as name of the complainant, his complete address, data and time of complaint, nature of complaint etc. shall be recorded in a register to be maintained for permanent record.  

b)      Capturing for general purpose will be as per a time-table drawn by the committee which will be covering various parts of the city zone-wise.  

2)      The dog capturing squad shall consist of:  

a)      The driver of the dog van  

b)      Two or more trained employees of B.M.C. who are trained in capturing of dogs.  

c)      One representative of any of the dog welfare organisations.  

Each member of the dog squad shall carry a valid identity card issued by the Municipal Corporation. 

3)      On receipt of specific complaint or for capturing dogs in normal course, the dog squad will visit the concerned area, capture the dogs identified by the complainant in case complaint-oriented capturing and other dogs in case of general capturing. A record of dogs captured shall be maintained in a register containing therein the name of the area/locality, date and time of capture, names of persons in the dog squad on that particular day and details about dogs captured such as number of male dogs, number of female dogs, number of puppies etc.  

4)      The dogs shall be captured by using humane methods such as lassoing or soft-loop animal-catchers such as those prescribed under the provisions of Preventions of Cruelties (Capture of Animals) Rules, 1972.  

5)      While the dogs are being captured in any locality the representative of the animal welfare organisation accompanying the dog squad will make announcements on a public address system that dogs are being captured from the area for the purpose of sterilization and immunization and will be released in the area after four days. The announcement may also briefly educate the residents of the area about the dog control programme and solicit the support of all the residents reassuring them that the Corporation in taking adequate stops for their safety.  

6)      The captured dogs shall be brought to the dog kennels / dog pounds managed by the NGO’s where they will be sterilized/ vaccinated under the supervision of the veterinarian of the hospital run by the S.P.C.A or dog shelters. After necessary period of follow up, the dogs shall be released at the same place or locality from where they were captured and the date, time and place of their release shall be recorded. The representative of NGOs shall accompany the dog squad at the time of release also.  

7)      At a time, only one lot of dogs shall be brought for sterilization, immunisation from one locality at one dog kennel or dog pound. Two lots from different areas or localities shall not be mixed at the same dog pound or dog kennel.  

8)      The dog kennel must have sufficient space for proper housing and free movement of dogs. The place should have proper ventilation and natural lighting and must be kept clean. Adults and puppies must be housed separately and amongst the adults the males and females also should be housed separately adequate arrangement for drinking water and food shall be made for dogs while in captivity.  

9)      On reaching the dog pounds, all the dogs shall be examined by the veterinarians and healthy and sick dogs should be segregated. Sick dogs should be given for proper treatment to the hospitals run by S.P.C.A. / other institutions and only after they are treated, they should be sterilized and vaccinated.  

10)  Female dogs found to be pregnant shall not undergo abortion (irrespective of stage of pregnancy) and sterilization and should be released for the litter.  

                     VIII.      Creation of Zones:  

The entire city of Mumbai shall be divided in three zones and the responsibility for effective implementation of the programme should be allocated area-wise to different NGOs as under:-  

a)      Municipal Wards A, B, C, D and E for the Welfare of Stray Dogs.  

b)      Municipal Wards F/S & F/N, G/ S & G/M to all India Animal Welfare Association (AIIAWA)  

c)      All Municipal Wards from Bandra to Dahisar, H/E & H/W , K/E & K/W, P/S & P/N, R/S & R/N and the entire western suburbia to AHIMSA and In Defence of Animals.  

d)      Entire Eastern suburbia from L ward, H/E, H/W, N/W & N/S and T ward from Kurla to Mulund to Deonar to Bombay Society for Prevention of Cruelties to Animals.  

e)      There are three existing Dog pounds in the city- Mahalaxmi, Malad and Deonar. The Mahalaxmi Dog pound is being managed by AIAWA and the Malad pound is being managed by AHIMSA. The newly constructed pound/kennel at Deonar should be given under the management of In Defence of Animals.  

                           IX.      Identification and Recording:  

Sterilized dogs shall be vaccinated before release and should be tattooed/ branded on their ears for being identified as sterilized/ immunized dogs. In addition, the dogs may be given token/ nylon collars for identification and detailed records of such dogs shall be maintained.  

                             X.      Killing of stray dogs:  

1)      No stray dogs shall be killed as a rule subject to the exception of critically ill, violent, fatally injured or rabid dogs. The decision whether a dog belonging to any of these three categories needs to be put to sleep with the sole object of relieving it of the pain of such sickness, injury or rabies shall be taken by a panel of  at least three doctors, one of who will be the veterinary doctors appointed by the Animal Welfare Board of India at its own expenses.  

2)      Violent, diseased and incurably ill and mortally wounded dogs and those capable of transmitting diseases as identified and diagnosed by a qualified veterinarian, to be killed, shall be    euthanised during working hours specified by the B.M.C in an approved humane manner i.e by administering Sodium Pentathol for adult dogs and Thiopental  intra-periloseally  for puppies by a qualified veterinarian or euthanised in any other humane manner approved by the Animal Welfare Board of India. No dog shall be euthanised in the presence of another dog. The person responsible for euthanising shall make sure that the animal is dead before disposal.  

                          XI.      Handling of Rabid Dogs:  

An insane or mad dog is the common term that is used to describe a rabid dog. Rabies is of two types - Furious and Dumb.  

                        Symptoms of Furious Rabies:                                               

An early symptom is that the dog becomes ill-tempered and loses its desire for human company. It attempts to isolate itself. The presence of other dogs make him very hostile and he will attack them. The rabid dog will make attempts to get rid of the frothing at the mouth. In the advanced stages of rabies, the dog’s legs get paralysed.  

Symptoms of Dumb Rabies:  

The dog becomes very docile and cannot be provoked. In the later stages, the dogs’ legs get paralysed and there is frothing at the mouth. A dog suffering from this variety is rarely a threat to others.  

Proposed Action:  

1)      On the receipt of complaints from the public to the Dog Control Officer/Cells of the Municipal Corporation or on its own, the dog squad of the corporation would catch such apparent rabid dog.  

2)      The dog which is caught would then be taken to the pound where it would be isolated in an isolation ward. (The incidence of rabies is such that a large room with 5/6 partitions would be adequate.)  

3)      The suspected rabid dog would then be subjected to inspection by a panel of two persons i.e. 

A veterinary surgeon appointed by the Animal Welfare Board of India and
An official of the Corporation in charge of the programme.  

4)      If the dog is found to have a high probability of having rabies it should be isolated till it dies a natural death. Death normally occurs within 10 days of contracting rabies. If the dog does not die within 10 days, it does not have rabies but some other diseases with similar symptoms such as toxicity or hypocalcaemia. Premature killing of suspected rabid dogs therefore prevents the true incidence of rabies from being known and appropriate action being taken.  

5)      If the dog is found not to have rabies but some other disease, it should not(?) be handed over to the above mentioned NGOs who will take the necessary action to rehabilitate the dog.    

                        XII.      Disposal of  Carcasses:  

As only critically ill, fatally injured dogs or dogs suffering from rabies will be killed, it is advisable in the interest of public health that disposal of their  carcasses is not entrusted to any outside agency. The carcasses or such destroyed dogs shall be disposed of in incinerators to be provided by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation at the Dog Pounds at Mahalaxmi, Malad and Deonar.  

                     XIII.      Public Awareness Campaign:  

1)      These guidelines, once approved by this court, shall be published in at least two English and two vernacular language dailies for the information of the citizens of Mumbai.  

2)      The Committee shall publish a brief quarterly report of the progress of this programme in local dailies giving details of sterilization and vaccinations as to create public confidence and support for the progress.  

3)      As stated earlier, the representative of NGOs will educate the residents of different localities on public address system  when they go for capturing of dogs.  

                     XIV.      Review/Revision of Guidelines:  

As the progress evolves itself, the committee shall consider review/ revision of the guidelines for more and more effective implementation of this programme. 

                     XV.      Targets & Duration:  

The committee will set targets for annual number of sterilization /immunisation depending on the infrastructure facilities available and the targets shall be increased gradually. The programme will be given undisturbed run for at least 5 years to prove its effectiveness and emphasis should be to remove the difficulties in its implementation, rather than its scrapping.  

3.      Order accordingly. The Corporation to act as per the aforesaid guidelines.  

4.      Petition stands disposed of accordingly.  

M. B. SHAH, C. J.  


Vinay Observations on the High Court order pertaining to Stray Dogs

Below are my observations and thoughts (clause by clause) as I read the High Court Order of 1998 pertaining to Stray Dogs.
I would be very much interested in knowing your views. Thanks. Vinay
At the outset, I would like to state that I am not in favour of killing animals. I do, however, believe that vicious dogs need to be dealt with e.g. maybe by shifting them to some other location after due treatment.
1. The order seems to be more like a 'consent decree' rather than a 'judgement'. It appears that an Animal Welfare Org (AWO) filed a petition against BMC against the killing of dogs. The AWOs then gave a set of guidelines. BMC was happy to accept that as it greatly reduced their responsibilities. The Court was happy to accept it as the two opposing parties had agreed amongst themselves. It is not clear who are respondents 2 to 5. It is strange that non-AWO Citizen Groups were not included.
2 I. What are the AWBI guidelines? Can someone please email them or give a website link?
2 II. One objective that is missing is to deal with vicious dogs. That is a continuing short-sightedness of AWOs. Or are they stating that dogs are only vicious if unsterilised?
2 III a. What are the Municipal / State Laws pertaining to pet dogs? Can someone please email them or give a website link?
2 III b. It is to be noted that active participation of other AWOs and private individuals is sought and that adequate financial and infrastructural support of MCGM will be provided.
2 IV. Can someone pl email me the names of the contact persons along with their phone numbers and email ids and website details, if any, of all the 14 members of the Monitoring Committee? It seems strange that such a list is not available anywhere on the internet.
2 V b. It seems difficult to expect only one veterinarian to decide which dogs need to be put to sleep for the large dog population that Mumbai has.
2 V a, c, d, e. How does one obtain what the Committee has recommended / done on these issues?
2 VI. a. How many dog vans is MCGM providing?
2 VI. e. It seems strange that only one ambulance-cum-clinical van is needed.
2 VI. g. What is the amount being given to NGOs for each sterilisation / immunisation?
2 VII 1) a. Which is this Cell where citizens have to lodge their complaints?
2 VII 1) b) a). Where is the register of complaints kept? What are the statistics?
2 VII 1) b) b). What is the time-table for covering the city zone-wise? What has been the actual performance? Why?
2 VII 2) 3). Where is the register of dogs captured? What are the statistics?
2 VII 2) 5). Are public announcements made during dog capture? Are residents being educated? How is their support being sought?
2 VII 2) 6) - 10). Are these being done to the satisfaction of the Monitoring Committee and AWOs?
2 VIII. Can just 5 NGOs really expect to sterilise all the dogs in the city faster than they breed? It seems difficult to fathom such a recommendation being made and being accepted. Why is there no provision for capacity creation amongst NGOs or even commercial orgs or BMC? Even more strange is that BMC does not have to do sterilisation. 
2 XIII 2. Are quarterly progress reports being published in newspapers? What are the statistics?
2. XIII 3. Why a Public Awareness / Education Campaign was / is not planned / incorporated in these guidelines?
2 XIV. Have these guidelines been revised? Can someone give details? It is ironic that we had to get the copy of the order itself from Pune when all AWOs are members of the Karmayog Yahoo Group since long.
2. XV. What are the targets? What have been the difficulties in the implementation? Have these difficulties been resolved? If not, has the High Court been approached again? If not, why not?
I am quite disappointed by the Guidelines suggested by the AWOs and also by the functioning of the AWOs themselves. 
There is a clear mismatch between the capacity of AWOs and the size of both the city and its stray dog population.
The infrastructural facilities that are sought also seem quite inadequate.
There seems to be no desire to formally educate children or adults about the various aspects of stray dogs.
The entire operation seems to be shrouded in secrecy.
Consequently, the population of stray dogs is increasing, along with the nuisance of barking, and the menace of biting. Lay citizens naturally suggest removal or killing of stray dogs, and this puts AWOs on the defensive. Various viewpoints are not shared and discussed. AWOs often assume that a person is either an animal lover or an animal hater. While the reality is that a vast majority are either indifferent or want to behave as responsible citizens and responsible human beings caring for nature and the environment.
With that objective, it is time a new BMC - Civil Society Committee on Stray Dogs be set up.
If you are interested in being involved, please respond. Please also email your thoughts on the above or any other aspect of the High Court Order, etc.

It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. --Charles Dudley Warner