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
Court Monitoring Committee for Stray Dogs
Dec 05, 2005
India Animal Welfare Association
Damle, Dir Health Services
Public health deptt
Col. J. C. Khanna
(Miss) P Lakahni / Lakshmi Padmanabhan?
Welfare Board of India
Defence of Animals
Animal Welfare Board
Rita Deepak Vazirani
Welfare of Stray Dogs
IN THE HIGH COURT
OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY ORDINARY
ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION NO. 1596 OF 1998
Parivar Trust & Anr.
of Greater Mumbai & Ors.
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
Mr. J B Lontin, Intervener,
M. B. SHAH, C.
Y. S. JAHAGIRDAR. J
5TH OCTOBER 1998
- 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.
- The Guidelines are as follows:-
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.
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.
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.
Classification of dogs:
dogs will be classified in one of the following two categories:
(ii) Stray dogs
Pet dogs owners shall be fully responsible for the
controlled breeding, immunization, sterilization and licensing provisions
as required by the Municipal/ State laws.
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
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.
a Competent Authority or a Monitoring Committee for implementation
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:-
One of the incumbents, Deputy Commissioner of Municipal
Corporation of Greater Mumbai, who will be the ex-officio Chairman
of the committee.
A representative of the Public Health Department of
the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.
A representative of the Bombay Society for Prevention
of Cruelties to Animals.
One representative each of the following animal welfare
India Animal Welfare Association
In Defence of Animals
The Welfare of Stray Dogs
People for Animals
Mrs. Rita Deepak Vazirani, an Animal Welfare activist
Shri Bittu Sehgal, a member of Maharashtra Animal
Shri Mangal Prabhat Lodha, member of the Maharashtra
State Committee of the Animal Welfare Board of India.
Shri Atul V Shah, representative of Viniyog Parivar
Trust who shall be the convener of the Committee.
Dr. (Miss) P Lakahni, a veterinarian and animal welfare
The committee will evolve its own modalition
Functions of the Committee:
The above Committee will be responsible for
planning and management of dog control programmes according to these
guidelines and will:
issue instructions for catching, transportation, sheltering,
sterilization, vaccination, treatment and release of sterilized/
vaccinated/ treated dogs.
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.
create public awareness, solicit co-operation and
provide guidelines to pet dog owners and commercial
breeders from time to time.
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
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:
Three or more dog vans for capture of dogs attached
to each of the dog pounds in the city i.e. Mahalaxmi, Malad and
Free water and electricity to be provided to each
of the three dog pounds.
Periodical repairs to the dog pounds buildings to
be done by the Corporation.
One driver and two trained dog-catchers to be provided
to each dog van and these shall be the employees of the Corporation.
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.
Incinerators shall be installed by the Corporation
at each of the dog pounds.
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.
Rules for capturing, sterilization, immunization and
Capturing of dogs will be based on:
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
General (in the normal courses of implementing these
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.
Capturing for general purpose will be as per a time-table
drawn by the committee which will be covering various parts of the
The dog capturing squad shall consist of:
The driver of the dog van
Two or more trained employees of B.M.C. who are trained
in capturing of dogs.
One representative of any of the dog welfare organisations.
member of the dog squad shall carry a valid identity card issued
by the Municipal Corporation.
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.
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)
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.
The captured dogs shall be brought to the dog kennels
/ dog pounds managed by the NGOs 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.
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.
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.
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.
Female dogs found to be pregnant shall not undergo
abortion (irrespective of stage of pregnancy) and sterilization
and should be released for the litter.
Creation of Zones:
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:-
Municipal Wards A, B, C, D and E for the Welfare of
Municipal Wards F/S & F/N, G/ S & G/M to all
India Animal Welfare Association (AIIAWA)
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.
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.
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.
Identification and Recording:
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.
Killing of stray dogs:
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.
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
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.
Handling of Rabid Dogs:
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:
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 dogs legs get paralysed.
of Dumb Rabies:
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Disposal of Carcasses:
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.
Public Awareness Campaign:
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.
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.
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.
Review/Revision of Guidelines:
the progress evolves itself, the committee shall consider review/
revision of the guidelines for more and more effective implementation
of this programme.
Targets & Duration:
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.
Order accordingly. The Corporation to act as per the
Petition stands disposed of accordingly.
B. SHAH, C. J.
S. JAHAGIRDHAR, J.
Vinay Observations on the High Court order pertaining to Stray
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
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?
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
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
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
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.