Pet Dogs in Public Parks

Dogs form an important part of the fabric of Indian society. The Constitution of India endorses this spirit of co-existence and compassion for all living creatures. As dog parents, we need to ensure that we take care of our dog's rights while ensuring we follow our duties out as well.

The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) is a statutory advisory body that was formed under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The AWBI advises the government on changes to laws and rules on animal welfare. Guidance is also offered to organizations and officials (such as the police) to help interpret and apply the laws.

In 2016, the AWBI released guidelines following a case in the High Court of Delhi regarding dogs being allowed in public parks. While the case was specific to Delhi, the guidelines are relevant for all public parks. In the document, the AWBI said:

1. Dogs should be allowed into public parks for walking and exercise, as long as they are leashed.

2. All boards saying dogs are not allowed to be modified / removed.

3. Timings can be specified for mornings and evenings. Timings should be reasonably long.

4. Pet owners should scoop up their dog's excreta and deposit in the garbage cans provided for the purpose.

5. Authorities cannot insist on muzzles. Pet owners should assess the nature of their dogs and ascertain if a muzzle is required.

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