Most dog lovers in the city have not registered their pets. Of an estimated 10,000 pet dogs in the city, only 3,907 are registered with the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, according to information obtained under the Right to Information Act.
The maximum of 1,713 dogs were registered in 2011. The number fell to 990 in 2012 and further to 669 dogs in 2013. This year, till May, the MC has registered only 285 pet dogs.
Under the Chandigarh Registration of Pet Dogs Bye-Laws, 2010, owners are required to get their pet dogs above the age of four months registered. A metal token is then issued by the MC which the dog has to wear on the collar. It remains valid for full lifespan of the dog.
The owner needs to fill up a form, deposit a fee of Rs 200 per dog, two recent photographs of the dog and a copy of the vaccination certificate from a government veterinary practitioner or a veterinary practitioner duly registered with the Indian Veterinary Council or the State Veterinary Council.
The law restricts any family to keep more than two dogs. A blind person keeping a dog and using solely for his/her guidance is exempted from payment of the registration fee.
In case a pet owner does not register a dog, he can be punished with a fine extending up to Rs 500. If still the dog is not registered, then the owner is fined Rs 20 daily for seven days. After this, the dog is detained and the owner has to pay maintenance charges of Rs 100 per day to claim the dog. If the dog is not claimed within seven days, then the MC can sell it.
The municipal corporation has challaned 669 owners since 2010. The maximum number of 264 challans were issued in 2013, and only one in 2010. This year, the corporation has challaned 73 pet owners.
The corporation has collected about Rs 9 lakh by registration as well as challaning of pet owners since 2010, which includes Rs 7.81 lakh from registration and Rs 1.23 lakh from fine.
However, the Medical Officer of Health-cum-CPIO of the municipal corporation refused to provide information where this money was spent, saying “the information is denied as per the Section 2(i) of the RTI Act, 2005”.