Thursday, September 28, 2023

Pet laws for apartments in India: Every Dog owner should be aware


Adopting a pet is an act in which acceptance has changed tremendously over time. While earlier pets were considered a luxury that few people could afford, pet adoption has now become a much simpler and generally accepted practice. 

Do you live in an apartment complex in India and would like to have a dog? You have every right to do it! However, Resident Welfare Association (RWA) sets some rules that violate your rights as a pet owner. This may include restrictions on keeping dogs in the apartment, using common areas, and much more. So it’s very essential for dog owners to be aware of pet apartment laws in India. 

Pet laws for apartments in India


According to Section 51 (A) g of the Constitution of India, it is the basic duty of all citizens to show compassion for all living things. The Indian constitution has long advocated the coexistence of all creatures under Article 51 (g), which gives every citizen the right to choose how they want to live, including the option to live with or without a companion animal. 

Although considered a fundamental right, most pet owners are harassed by their decision to stay with a pet, especially in residential apartments. Associations such as Pupcakes and (CUPA), which help people adopt dogs from shelters, have received reports of several such cases. 

The Indian Animal Welfare Board has adopted regulations on keeping dogs in homes. If you live in a community apartment, you should be aware of these laws and make sure that no one disturbs you when you have a pet in your home. We have summarized some statutes and rules in our own words to help you understand them more easily. 

Considering that most of the urban population has started living in apartments, it can be assumed that the number of pet owners or pet parents among them will increase significantly. To make sure your flatshare or dwelling association doesn’t have an impact on pets, both residents and association members should know a few things about placing pets in homes. 

By-laws for pet owners in Apartments


The law advocates having pets regardless of the type of place where the landlord is staying. The Resident Welfare Association or Management Committee should be aware that the units are, after all, privately owned, and keeping an approved animal does not violate the laws of the country.

 The basic duties in the Indian constitution in Section 51 (A) make it a duty of every Indian citizen to respect and have compassion for all forms of life. Banning pets in a housing association or an apartment complex is taken as a direct violation of the Indian constitution. 

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act as per Section 11 (3), 1960 further emphasizes the importance of being friendly to animals. RWA and associations can inform members of their community about the principles of the law. 

The Indian Animal Welfare Board has detailed and clear records of the legality of keeping pets in the house. The following are some excerpts addressed to both residents and RWAs:

  •  Pet owners are encouraged to ensure that their pets are not a source of harassment to others. However, they can distinguish between reasonable and inappropriate and legal and illegal claims that their pets are a source of a nuisance.
  • Barking is the natural form of expression for a dog and has to be tolerated in society. However, incessant barking can annoy neighbors. Therefore, pet owners are advised to do their best to keep their dogs calm, especially during the evening hours.
  • For residents who work with animals in the community – “… Those who feed stray dogs are advised to participate in their sterilization and also to participate in the annual vaccination, as they gain the trust of dogs through feeding. They are also advised to provide or support animal welfare organizations with medical care.”

What Does The Law Say?


Housing authorities often notify residents with pets asking them to leave their pets, as this is an inconvenience for other tenants. Many tenants who don’t know anything about animal welfare laws and statutes often give in to these erroneous demands. Some of the rules established by the Indian Animal Welfare Board in its recent circular are: 

  1. Although other tenants agree that they will not allow pets in the home, the ban on keeping pets is illegal and cannot be enforced for tenants. 
  2. They may not convey such notice about the size or breed of dogs that are accepted in the home, while others will be refused. 
  3. The barking of companion dogs is not considered a valid reason to prohibit the entry of dogs into the home. However, pet owners are advised to do their best to keep their dogs calm, especially at night.
  4. Housing associations cannot pass laws against pets using elevators or elevators, or impose a fine on tenants whose pets use elevators or elevators. However, if there is already an alternative lift in the apartment, pet owners are advised to use it for practical reasons. 
  5. Dogs cannot be prohibited from entering gardens, parks and other public spaces directly. However, arrangements can be made to adjust schedules so that they do not disturb or frighten or cause inconvenience to other tenants or children.
  6. Owners must follow strict rules to keep their pets healthy and hygienic. All vaccines must be taken appropriately and regularly. Pet sterilization is recommended to keep the population under control. 
  7. Dog owners are advised to carry out effective cleaning of their pets’ feces in public spaces, the methods of which could be proposed by housing associations. There are many who care about stray dogs or cats in their neighborhood, feed them and offer them warmer clothes for the winter. 


Another important point to remember is the list of animals that can be kept as pets. In addition to dogs and pups, cats, and livestock, most pets can be kept as pets. These include horses, ponies, pigs, red-eared pushers, aquarium-raised fish, rabbits, etc. Parakeets, pigeons, finches, poultry, and some other types of love birds can also be kept as pets, while other birds such as parakeets are strictly prohibited. Most species of rodents and turtles cannot be kept as pets either.

 At a time when animosity towards animals has provided dangerous and often terrible examples, these rules are a ray of hope that people will be more susceptible to such crimes around them and honor these animals as they are: companions, trustworthy and loving. 

What to do if your apartment prohibits pets?

 Not everyone loves animals and is in a favor of it, so there may be conflicts with your RWA or other residents in your apartment. Here’s what you can do if there is a clear violation of the law or if there are excessive restrictions affecting your pet’s quality of life: 

  • You need to a copy of the Indian Animal Welfare Board notification and share it with your Resident Welfare Association. 
  • Insist that pet owners’ rights when designing laws
  •  Work with other pet owners in society to find sensible solutions that benefit all residents 
  • Contact a legal expert to take action in serious cases.

 With these pet laws for apartments in India, you can protect your dog without worry. 






Further Reading:

Mary Randolph, Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must-have Book for Your Owner

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