Delhi

Haryana: The curious case of a dog named ‘Boo’

Animals and pets had the right to live but their rights cannot supersede the rights of the human beings and they cannot be made a “forced prey”, said a member of the Haryana Human Rights Commission. File

Animals and pets had the right to live but their rights cannot supersede the rights of the human beings and they cannot be made a “forced prey”, said a member of the Haryana Human Rights Commission. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Four-year-old Boo, a dog at Vatika India Next in Sector 83 here, has allegedly bitten around 50 residents of the group housing society.

The matter reached the doorstep of Haryana Human Rights Commission six months ago, but the municipal corporation officials have expressed their inability to take any action against the dog saying that it had a caretaker and was not a “stray”.

In a report last month, Sudhir Kumar, Senior Sanitary Inspector, Municipal Corporation of Gurugram, said one Sumit Singla, a local resident, claimed to be the caretaker of the dog. But he was not liable for action since he is not the “owner”. The MCG could take action against the owner of the dog as per the Haryana Municipal Corporation (Registration and Proper Control of Dogs) be-laws, 2008, and not the caretaker, said the report.

The law, however, empowers the municipal body to treat a “mad dog as a stray”. The report suggested that the commission order a medical examination of the dog from an authorised veterinary hospital.

Human rights protection

In its latest order on May 23, the commission’s member Deep Bhatia observed that animals and pets had the right to live but their rights cannot supersede the rights of the human beings and they cannot be made a “forced prey” of such ferocious animals. The commission has ordered action against the erring official for failing to protect the basic human rights of the people and directed the municipal commissioner to file an affidavit with details of the steps taken before the next hearing on July 18 and appear in-person.

The commission said that the 2008 by-laws had no such term as “caretaker” and the stand taken by the municipal body in its report was an attempt to avoid its responsibility by not declaring the dog a stray. The panel observed that it was a trivial issue and could be resolved in the first hearing itself, but the official concerned did not take any action.

The complainant, Kavita Bishnoi, told The Hindu that she was deprived of her routine walks during pregnancy for fear of being attacked by “Boo” and this prompted her to approach the human rights commission. “Every time I would go out for a walk, the security guard would advise me to stay indoors saying that the dog could attack me. He told me the dog had attacked pregnant women in the past. I put on weight and my blood pressure also remained high during my pregnancy and eventually I underwent caesarian. I then decided to move the commission with the plea that if a dog can have a right, I too have certain rights as a human being,” she said.

Ms. Bishnoi said the dog lived in the open, in and around the park.

Mr. Kumar, however, said that declaring the dog a stray was not a solution since a stray could not be relocated as per the bye-laws. “The MCG could at the best vaccinate and castrate it and Mr. Singla has already produced documents to this effect,” he added.


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Printable version | Jun 4, 2022 7:23:30 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/the-curious-case-of-a-dog-named-boo/article65491727.ece