This is an interesting case study of a battle that’s playing out even now, as we write this, at an upmarket apartment complex called Nirvana Country, South City-II, Phase-II, at Sectors 49, 50, and 57, Gurgaon, developed and constructed by Unitech Ltd. There are 2 apartment blocks – the Close North, and the Close South. This is playing out at the Close North.
This real life account involves an RWA, of course (or the Association of Apartment Owners as it is also known as) & of course it involves dogs : several pet dogs ; and 2 stray dogs that mostly live within the apartment complex. The RWA has been exceeding its mandate, and trying to impose unreasonable restrictions on pet owners, such as, through this ‘Pet Etiquette’ notice that they’d put up, here :
The ‘Pet Etiquette’ notice contained the usual unreasonable demands, including muzzling of pets, and disallowing pets from using elevators. Additionally, the RWA has also been trying to impose ‘fines’ on pet owners if their pets relieve themselves in the common areas. Rather than try an inclusive approach, and evolve a solution such as creating ‘dog corners’ where the pets can be trained to relieve themselves, the RWA has been trying to isolate pet owners. The kind of signboards that they have been putting up, can be seen here:
So far, this account must be reading like any other account involving an apartment complex, and an oppressive RWA, and pets and pets owners. What makes it significantly different however is that not only did the agitated pet owners in this case decide that they wouldn’t take the RWA’s excesses lying down, they also decided they would group together, and form an association to fight for the rights of their pets. This is precisely what they did. They formed the Pet Parents Association of the Close North Nirvana Country. You can read about the members of this Pet Parents Association, and their pets, and view their contact details and their addresses which they have proudly shared, here
What we have below, in the next paragraph, is a detailed account of their continuing ‘engagement’ with the RWA, from the spunky Founder of the Pet Parents Association, Mrs. Iti Tyagi. To put it briefly :
- They refused to accept the demands made vide the ‘Pet Etiquette’ notice, and muzzle their dogs, or stop using elevators with their pets, etc.
- They complained to Mrs Maneka Gandhi, M.P., and to the Animal Welfare Board of India. The legal notice that the Board issued to the RWA, i.e. the apartment owners’ association of the Close North Nirvana Country, can be seen here :
- (“Pet Parents – Notice of Demand to RWA of Close North Nirvana Country”, Attachment 7)
- They lodged as many as 3 police complaints against the RWA and other misguided, hostile residents, for cruelty to the pet dogs, and the 2 stray dogs within the complex, and harassment to themselves, which can be seen here :
- (“Pet Parents – complaint lodged with police for cruelty to community dog”, & “Pet Parents – complaint 2 lodged with police”, & “Pet Parents – complaint 3 lodged with police”, Attachments 8, 9, & 10)
- When the guards were instructed by the RWA to beat and try and drive the 2 stray dogs away from the complex, Pet Parents issued a stern warning to the Security Agency that the guards belong to, which can be seen here
- Pet Parents continue to look after the 2 strays – the community dogs in the apartment complex, as you can see in these pictures
This is Mrs. Iti tyagi’s account, of how and why The Pet Parents Association (PPA) of the Close North Nirvana country was formed, and how they have fought for the rights of their pet and Indian stray dogs (the words and expression in this writing is Mrs Iti’s own):
NB: Please refer these attached police complaints with reference to her writing.
- Pet Parents Police Complaint 1 lodged with Gurgaon Police
- Pet Parents Police Complaint 2 lodged with Gurgaon Police
- Pet Parents Police Complaint 3 lodged with Gurgaon Police
The problem with pet owners is not a new story as I have been watching misbehavior towards pets and pet owners from quite some time. On 13-10-12 the first shock came to us when I saw a pet etiquette notice on the notice board of my tower in Close North, Nirvana Country, Gurgaon.
This notice was no where to talk about etiquette by pets or pet owners rather a display of ignorant animal haters who neither understand nature nor believe in law. The same night in consent with my beloved husband I formed Pet Parents Association (PPA) to fight for the rights of pets, strays , pet owners and animal lovers in condominiums.
The term pet parent was important to us as we believed after adopting our son ( now 2 yr Labrador) it was our first duty to fight for his legal rights and fundamental rights. And to take this matter further I approached almost every top body who could guide me to stand for the right of all these children. To name a few I contacted PETA, PAWS, AWBI. We also spread PPA by word of mouth to some caring pet parents and called for a meeting. This meeting was effective but we felt the pet parents have already been scared to take any stands. Ultimately I wrote to PFA for advice and to my surprise I received the call from Smt. Maneka Gandhi Ji who first of all congratulated me on forming PPA and assured me that whatever ethical, legal support in the light of law would be provided to us to fight with RWA and their illegal, unlawful notice.
She wrote to RWA president and explained how all the points in notice such as muzzling to dogs, no use of resident lift for dogs and walking dogs outside society main gate for poop were unlawful, illegal and could attract legal consequences based on previous court rulings in such case and as per MCG letter to all RWA in Gurgaon society/apartments.
On the basis of pets rights and illegal notice put up by RWA, our story was featured in The Times of India on 4 th Nov 2012. Another story based on MCG letter to RWA was also covered in TOI on 6th Nov 2012
On 5th November we contacted Respected Maj. Gen Kharb, Chairperson, AWBI for his support in this regard. The first legal notice came by Integral Law Offices on behalf of Animal Welfare Board Of India on Demand Of Respect to the Illegal, Arbitrary and Absurd Action relating to Pet Dog and Pet Owners by Resident Welfare Association, The Close North, Gurgaon, Sector 49,50 in the month of November 2012.The copy is attached herewith for your kind reference. This notice was also been Covered in TOI dated 20th Nov 2012.
Our story and fight was going viral and we got the first case for help and advice by Ms.Preeti Singh on 12 Nov 2012 who is a resident of Noida and has pets and also feeds 7-10 strays. All legal help through previous reading material of court cases, MCG letters and animal welfare guidelines and animal rights was provided in matter concerned.
Now a new chapter was opening up and that was of manhandling of strays by security guards on condominium. On 22 November 2012, PPA wrote a strict letter to Skyguard Security Services about laws and animal rights and also forwarded the copy to PFA, Smt. Maneka Gandhi Ji.
The matter got worse when the acting president of RWA Close North, asked security guards to throw a resident dog Shera (which is an Indian dog) out of main gate. This was objected to by the PPA President Mr. Kansal and the RWA President gotgot abusive with Mr Kansal. The same day we filed a complaint with the Sadar East, Police Station. We have been harassed by the police as well and in-spite of these complaints (also overlooking letter from AWBI, PFA) no investigation was conducted and the police also refused to covert these complaints into FIRs (The copy of DDR complaints is attached herewith for your kind reference)
As per advised by Smt. Maneka Gandhi, we met BOM on 27 Jan ’13 to resolve pet etiquette notice issue been held from long, but the entire meeting went in vain as the BOM was now targeting resident strays who is docile, playful (images attached for kind reference) At this time the RWA, Close North also started a ‘Campaign against the Stray Dog Menace’ signed by 118 resident of the Close North. Kindly note this resident dog Shera is born and brought up in this condominium along with 4 other litters by a female dog. The 2 litters were thrown by security guards and remaining 2 Shera and Kaalu are paying a heavy price for their life. Kaalu in the month of December ’12 in the chilly winter night was rescued by PPA from an iron rod inserted in his neck and was sent for treatment to PFA, Sadrana where he got vaccinated and treated too. The poor Shera (badly hurt on his hind leg and now limping) is target of these 118 residents. Shera is also vaccinated by PFA in January and healthy to be in Condominium (the vaccination cards are attached herewith for your kind reference).
There is a threat of life to Shera and we some 20 residents want to save his life from these BOM who are manipulating and polluting the minds of other resident and want to throw these resident dogs out of condominium. Signed letter copy filed as a complaint attached for your kind reference.
The BOM are now have gone more down to the level where they are threatening the pet parents and forcing them to abandon their pets. (Signed Copy of resident’s complaint is attached herewith for your kind reference)
Along we received more complaints from pet owners from various places, Ms.Sucheta from Bangalore, she was advised to contact Voice of Stray on 12/02/13
Recent complaint came from gurgaon by Mr.Manmath Rajput on 22/02/13 email@example.com. He is also been advised on the rights his pet holds in society and that society cannot ban his pet from playing in garden, or advise to walk the pet put of main gate as there are risks involved.
On our request Shri Amit Choudhary, PFA sent a letter to RWA on 29jan 13 regarding pet owners, animal feeders rights and in context with “resident stray Shera and his rights” ( letter attached for your kind reference)
On 4th feb13 the close north apartment owners association sent us a legal notice also copied to AWBI on debar of maintenance services to pet owners and animal feeders. The law firm that sent us the notice was kept in dark as they were not aware of the pets and stray vaccinations PPA already maintaining. In response to this notice and on our request, Ms.Anjali Sharma sent the second notice dated 19 feb13 on behalf of Chairperson,AWBI and President PPA.
This fight is not about pet parent or non pet parent, it is for all those living creatures who have a right to stay in their natural territory and have not been any danger to any living being in concerned periphery.
Founder, Advisor, Pet Parents Association
Member, People For Animals
In Part II, we shall look at the Haryana Apartments Ownership Act, and the Close North Nirvana Country conveyance of apartment deeds, to assess whether there is anything in any of these that empowers this RWA to impose the restrictions that it does.