Legal Advice

How to tackle imminent danger posed by stray dogs

Question: I am living in Thane City. In my housing complex, there are stray dogs around 10-12. two of the stray dogs are always biting people out of sudden without any warning. They also charge people who are jogging, delivery guys and kids playing. What we can do to remove the only dogs which are biting people. 6 incidents have been recorded in the last two months for the same dog biting people. What we can do to take dogs away from the society complex. A number of people do not want that dog to be in our complex because it bites their kids. Dog feeding complexes have dedicated places to feed stray dogs yet people are feeding them at the entrance of society buildings or other areas where kids play. Can we charge them for not feeding dogs at assigned places? We are not against feeding but people should obey rules to feed the dog at dedicated places assigned for this task. if we stop them then they are blaming us as if we are opposing them from feeding.

Advise

You should promptly submit a complaint to the municipal corporation regarding the evacuation of stray dogs from your society. This matter is quite sensitive due to the personal attachment some individuals have in feeding these strays. However, such compassion toward stray dogs, manifested by feeding them in front of residences, must not cause danger to the public and create chaos.

If there is a dedicated place for feeding stray dogs, the residents of the vicinity must feed them there exclusively. It is the municipality’s responsibility to safeguard the public from any evident danger posed by stray dogs. Stray dogs exhibit fiercely wild and uncontrollable behaviour. The municipality is also accountable for regulating the act of feeding stray dogs by the public.

However, Section 44 of the Maharashtra Police Act 1951 empowers the police to destroy or exterminate stray dogs. In the prevailing statutes against cruelty to animals such as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, it is tough for the police authority to destroy stray dogs. But, they can do something to compel the public to feed stray dogs at the designated place only. 

Therefore, you can also submit an application to the Police Commission or other responsible police authority to take action against individuals who are endangering the public by not feeding stray dogs at the designated place.

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow