Mumbai News

Bombay HC directs Nagpur civic officials to take stern action against citizen feeding stray dogs in public places – The Indian Express

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Nagpur authorities and the police to take stern action against anyone obstructing them from acting against the menace of stray dogs. The court said that people interested in feeding strays must first formally adopt them and only feed them inside their homes.

A division bench of Justice Sunil B Shukre and Justice Anil Pansare stated: “We direct in general that no citizen and no resident of Nagpur and areas surrounding it shall feed or make any attempt to feed the stray dogs in public places, gardens etc. We further direct the Municipal Commissioner of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to ensure that no such feeding at any place except the own homes of such persons shall be undertaken. If any person is interested in feeding stray dogs, he shall first adopt the stray dog/bitch, bring it to home, register it with Municipal Authorities or put it in some dogs shelter home and then showering his love and affection on it, may feed it while taking its personal care in all respect.”

The court also directed the NMC commissioner to ensure no feeding of street dogs takes place at any place except at the place belonging to the person wishing to feed the animals or at dog shelter homes or any other authorised place.

It also directed the NMC to impose appropriate penalty for any breach of these directions. The penalty may not be more than of Rs 200 for every breach as per the resolution already passed in this regard by the NMC, the court added.

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The bench passed an order in PIL filed in 2006 by activist Vijay Talewar through advocate Firdos Mirza that sought action against the “dog menace”.

The bench raised concerns over animal lovers feeding the dogs and said, “..These supposed friends of stray dogs do not realise the disastrous consequences of their charity. Fed on the goodies provided by the animal lover, many of the stray dogs become insolent and get even more violent in their behaviour towards human beings in general and children in particular. If these so-called friends of stray dogs are really interested in protection and welfare of the stray dogs, they must adopt the stray dogs, take home the stray dogs or at least put them up in some good dog shelter homes and bear all the expenses for their registration with Municipal Authorities and towards their maintenance, health and vaccination.”

The bench said animal lovers “must understand the charity lies in taking complete care and not just feeding and then leaving poor creatures to fend for themselves.”


It added, “This is the most basic duty a benevolent person must perform if he has real compassion for stray dogs. But the so-called friends of stray dogs shy away from performing this basic duty of theirs and the result is uncontrolled growth in population and nuisance of stray dogs.”

The bench also directed the Nagpur civic body to consider implementing directions given by the larger bench of HC regarding identifying a suitable plot for stray dog shelter homes, adding the same would help in eliminating “nuisance” of stray dogs without any cruelty to them.

“..This is not to say that there is something wrong about the view that a dog generally is the best friend of man but, this has to be taken with circumspection when it comes to dogs which are strays and which are not kept as pets. Many of these strays are aggressive, ferociously wild and simply uncontrollable in their behaviour. Therefore, there is a need for the authorities to take charge of the matter….” the bench observed.


The court also directed public awareness campaigns to sensitise citizens about duties and responsibilities under the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 and posted further hearing to November 23.