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Bengaluru defends its pets’ right to play

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Posted on June 18, 2015: Pets and pet lovers vouch for the city of Bengaluru. But not anymore. The recent ban on dog walks in Cubbon Park has invited agitation. A Facebook Group of pet parents and animal lovers is now set to fight the injustice.

Known to be one of India’s most pet-friendly cities, Bengaluru was a small and quaint city with a lot of open gardens much to the delight of pets. But recently the rapidly increasing population due to the IT hub status of this city has made it a bane for pets to run freely. The worst to be hit by the sudden surge in population and stress levels is the beloved Cubbon Park. An oasis for pet parents, the clean and safe park was a popular place for canines to walk, exercise, play and socialize.

However, the growing need for more open spaces for public has compelled the Horticulture Department of the city of Bengaluru to propose a hostile notion. They have suggested a ban on pet dogs inside Cubbon Park.

Ban logic

In 2013, Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi suggested a similar such ban on walking of pets in Lalbagh, in a bid to prevent ‘nuisance’ and step up security at the crucial lung of the city. A penalty of Rs 200 for violations was also laid down. The CWA president said that the ban was put in place owing to the litter and menace created by dogs and other animals and birds.  He also said that the ban on bringing pets to the Park will automatically put an end to the stray dog menace, as well as, people coming to feed pigeons which creates a mess.

Such unjust steps have agitated the dog lover community of Bengaluru. The ongoing struggle between pet owners and morning walkers have adversely affected the basic needs of pets. Pet parents in Bangalore believe dogs are being increasingly deprived of open spaces and parks. The anti-pet policy of the local administration of the ‘garden’ city is hurting both animal lovers and their beloved pets. And they feel it is time to reclaim space for their pets. Pet parents insist that most animals are happy, friendly and well-behaved and they are sterilized, vaccinated and gentle. And thus they have taken matters in their own hand and started a city-wide Facebook campaign to fight this injustice. Animal lovers believe that pets have a right to live freely and the increasing support on the Facebook page, The Cubbon Park Canines, has left the officers in a tizzy.

Although Bengaluru’s Horticulture Department is only just mulling the ban, the strong sentiments and increasing support from the animal fraternity of Bengaluru has moved the government officials to reconsider even their proposal.

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