A.R.M.Y. (Animal Rescue & Maintenance Youth), Rourkela recently organised ‘Colour Your Pet & Zoo Animals’ contest under the Wildlife Awareness & Rescue (WAR-II) programme for Eco Club during the Animal Welfare Fortnight 2014. Also, a pet awareness programme held at Deepika EM School and Gyana Jyoti Public School awarded students who adopted mongrels along with their purebreds. For more information, contact at: 7504038089 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rishi Dev one of the Founder of Citizen for animal rights (CFAR) that took shape in 2006 at New Delhi
In 2010, the Central Mumbai Consumer Disputes Redress Forum gave a strong directive to a group housing society who was charging a pet owner resident monthly fees for using lifts. The court clearly said – “Dogs are part of a family hence they have the right to use the lift just as any other member, and we cannot decide who is a family member and who isn’t, each family decides for itself.”
Before this in 2008 a similar order came from a lower court that clarified that pets are part of family and cannot be restricted from living or using the residential complexes.
In 2012, the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation was the first of their kind to issue strict notices to all CGHS and RWAs in Gurgaon, warning them not to formulate rules and regulations against pets and that any such move is in conflict with the law. The notices clearly stated – “Such a move may lead to dissolution of the RWA and prosecution of its office bearers, says the letter. It is illegal to remove animals from the area through security guards employed by RWAs. Nor can they intimidate residents who may be feeding those animals. Under stray dog management rules 2001, it’s illegal for an individual, RWA or estate management to remove or relocate dogs. The dogs have to be sterilized and vaccinated and returned to the same area. Vaccinated and sterilized dogs cannot be removed by the municipality too. Under Section 506 of the IPC, it’s a crime to threaten abuse or harass neighbors who feed animals.”
So what is origin of these laws protecting dogs and cats from humans who treat them unequal?
The system of law in Indian is a tiered system, based on Arthashastra from 400 B.C. & Manusmriti from 100 A.D. wherein the central philosophy was tolerance & pluralism. This is the reason the constitution declares India to be a sovereign socialist democratic republic, assuring its citizens justice, equality, and liberty.
The hierarchical system of Indian constitution thus forbids the lower hierarchies to overrule or override the higher orders, laws, directions or acts. This means that if Supreme Court says ‘yes’ to something, the ‘no’ by the high courts’ gets automatically nullified. This hierarchy comes down to the lowest local urban body or court. In India most courts have already ruled in favor of the animals in all respects. Hence any organization, individual or body ruling or following actions against such orders are automatically breaking the law and in contempt of the constitution and the honorable courts.
There are laws and constitutional provisions directly allowing people to take care of animals, wherether inside or outside their places of work or living. The laws clearly protect people and their animals from all kinds of discrimination. The Indian constitution states them very clearly via various sections. Article 48-A – “The State shall endeavor to protect & improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.” Article 51-A deals with the fundamental duties of the citizen. Article 51-A(g) states – ” It shall be duty of every citizen of India to protect & improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.” Article 19 deals with the fundamental rights of the citizen. So “Right to Protect the Environment ” comes within Article 19. After the Stockholm Declaration in 1972 the Indian Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 inserted for the first time specific provisions to protect & improve the environment. I.P.C. Section 428 and 429 provides severe punishment to people resorting to dislocation, abduction and acts of cruelty towards community animals or pets. Ministry of Public Grievances notification and a similar notification by Animal Welfare Board of India dated March 2008, provide immunity to animal feeders and restrict government employees or bodies such as Resident Welfare Associations from harassing people who try to feed or help animals. Article 25, 26, 27, 28 provides religious freedom to all citizens and preserves the principle of secularism in India. According to the constitution, all religions are equal before the State. Citizens are free to preach, practice and propagate any religion of their choice in their own way. Keeping or feeding animals is a part of the same right. The other acts which protect animals are The Environment (Protection) Act – 1986 & Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
Hence, anyone taking care, keeping pets or street animals has natural immunity in the law. There are many orders pertaining to street animals by many courts. But in the recent times many RWAs have shown their autocracy over residents keeping pets. Keeping the same in mind the Animal Welfare Board of India and many municipal corporations have time and again written to the Registrar of Societies (ROS) and their RWAs to refrain from these undemocratic actions.
An RWA is a private, representative body which has no legal sanctity. It is just a group of people who have come together and formed a club. Their mandates and bye laws are not legal mandates and especially if they violate the fundamental rights of a citizen or even more goes against an existing court order. Such RWAs can be legally prosecuted and if need be can face fines or imprisonment or both. Such precedence has been set before. If any resident faces such harassment from RWAs, must immediately approach the local magistrate and file a complaint of harassment and violation of their fundamental rights. The complaint must also be sent to ROS asking them to dissolve the RWA with immediate effect. AWBI must also be approached for taking appropriate legal action against such RWA members.
Manvi is certified dog groomer and stylist graduated from Nash Academy in Lexington. She runs Wag n Wash in Pune. They offer services like oral, eye, ear, foot and sanitary cares as well as deshedding, skin and coat treatments.
- Grooming also is a bonding process for you and your dog. It soothes your dog and it’s a known fact that stroking your dog will lower your own blood pressure.
- Get your puppy accustomed to grooming early in life. Begin gradually by handling your puppy often, touching its ears and paws gently. Start with short grooming sessions and reward your pup with treats so it associates handling these areas with pleasant outcomes.
- By grooming your dog on a regular basis you can usually find any skin growths or hot spots before they become large and a problem
Well-balanced diet: a must
The canine therapist should have a recognised qualification in canine or animal nutrition when looking at a holistic approach to treating dogs. A good, healthy, well-balanced diet is part of the holistic approach to effectively treating dogs or any animals. In many cases, changing a poor diet to the correct diet for a particular dog’s needs makes a significant improvement to the dog’s behaviour.
It may be necessary to have a hair mineral or blood analysis done to determine the state of health and whether there are any mineral excesses or deficiencies. Finding the correct diet for a particular dog can only be achieved with the guidance and help of a veterinarian or animal nutritionist.
Determine his health condition
The health state of your dog should be checked yearly by a veterinarian. Many health conditions are not easily observed outwardly and dogs are excellent at hiding pain. If at all possible, take a urine sample to your veterinarian. A urine sample can give the veterinarian a lot of information.
Your veterinarian will most likely check the dog’s whole body, feeling for any underlying or potential problems, such as lumps or bumps, hot or cold spots, condition of nails, eyes, ears and anal glands. The vet will observe how the dog moves, muscle condition, bones and if you have fasted your dog this day, may take a blood sample to check the internal state of health and stress levels.
The dog’s state of health is extremely important and affects how a dog behaves. This health check should be done before getting a veterinary referral to see a canine therapist or behaviourist.
Bodywork to heal
Another important part of the holistic approach to the dog is bodywork. Bodywork can make a significant difference to the dog’s health and welfare in restoring balance to the body and aiding healing.
There are many types of bodywork that can help your dog such as the Bowen technique, T-touch, acupressure, acupuncture, hydrotherapy and many other therapies all helping to restore the dog’s balance. Personally I have found the Bowen technique to be the most effective treatment on my own dogs and myself. We should always have a treatment ourselves first, before having any treatment done on our dogs.
If the treatment is uncomfortable for us, then perhaps it is not the right treatment for your dog either. Care is required in choosing the right bodywork for your dog. Many body therapies need a veterinary referral, so check this before having any treatment done. The therapist should have an understanding of dog body language in order to help your dog feel more comfortable and to know when the dog has had enough treatment.
Relationships mean the world to them
Dogs have the same need for love, touch, understanding, time and communication as we do. If these basic needs are not met, then our relationship with others suffers and we feel empty, lonely and needy. Studies have shown that children lacking these basic needs in life do not live long and are susceptible to diseases. Why should we think our dog’s needs are any less than our own?
When we are meeting our dogs’ needs on a holistic level, that is providing all basic needs, emotionally and physically, our dogs can develop a good trusting relationship with us and vice versa.
Being left alone all day is difficult for dogs as they are pack animals and very gregarious. They need company, they need relationships and they need to be with us. Too many dogs are left alone all day while owners go out to work for long hours. This can create many behaviour problems. Would we leave a small child alone at home with no caretaker? I don’t think so. Why should we think we can do this to a dog? In the wild, dogs are not alone, they are always near the pack – the pack works as a team created with a well-developed communication system. They do not separate for eight hours of the day and return in the evening.
Unfortunately when living with humans, dogs have had to adjust to our way of life with little adjustment from the human side to meet our dog’s needs. If we do need to work and leave a dog alone, it may be worth considering a dog sitter for at least a few hours a day. Someone who has enough dog knowledge to care for the dog’s needs and who knows how to keep the dog calm and relaxed, who can sit with the dog while reading a book, give the dog a short walk, and generally be a friend to the dog for a few hours.
Communication – understand their body language
Dogs have been created by God with an amazing communication system. They communicate with their whole body, also known as calming signals. When dogs are unhappy, worried about something or afraid, they will tray to communicate this with us or other animals by using this communication system of body language we call calming signals. Just to list a few of these calming signals:
- lip licking
- head turning
- turning body round
- lying down
- blinking eyes
- paw lifting
- tail wagging
- tail held high
- hackles up
- ears back
- panting slowly
- fast panting (when the dog is not particularly hot)
- going between people or other animals
- stiff body
- quick short stepping
There are many more signals known and possibly many yet to be discovered but these are a few to watch for and if you see your dog doing any of these calming signals, it may be best to help him/her out by taking him/her out of the situation or doing whatever you can to make the dog more comfortable.
(Nicole Mackie has over 14 years of experience in handling, exhibiting, training, observing, studying and sharing her life with dogs, gaining many qualifications, such as canine behaviour, canine psychology, general animal science and experience veterinary nursing. She is a radio speaker and writer for magazines, works with behavioural problems in dogs and runs socialising groups for dogs with social problems).
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