Karnataka high court asks for plan on stray dogs in city’s Cubbon Park

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The Karnataka high court on Thursday directed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to produce an action plan to control street dogs inside the city’s Cubbon Park and restrictions to be put on pet dogs brought to the park by their owners.

A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum while hearing a petition filed by Cubbon Park Walkers Association, regarding alleged illegal constructions inside the park, said, “We want to take suo-motu cognizance regarding Cubbon park. How are these dogs permitted in a public place? It affects the morning walkers. People who bring their dogs don’t even chain them, they leave them open, and there is no restriction in the movement for the public inside the park, no entrance fee or nothing is charged, why? How are these dogs permitted in a public place?”

Responding to the petition, a BBMP official said that dogs are allowed in the park only Sundays, however, the bench observed that hundreds of dogs are being fed inside Cubbon Park. “… hundreds of dogs just collect at one place, and when you pass by them, they become very furious, they even chase,” the bench observed orally. The bench also noted that rules governing pet owners should be implemented strictly.

The bench also pointed out that “pet owners are not following the right etiquette while bringing their dogs to the park. It is nowhere permitted, if you are keeping a dog you have to maintain it. It is not that you keep your house clean and dirty outside, it is difficult to walk on the road inside Cubbon Park. If they are not cleaned every day, you cannot walk because of these dogs”. (What does this mean?)

Chief Justice Awasthi went on to recollect his visit to Europe and the etiquettes found among dog owners there. “Once I had an occasion to visit Europe and I was standing on the window of my hotel in the early morning. Hardly any people were there on the road, one person came with his dog, and the dog eased out in the middle of the road, and that person removed a packet from his pocket, and he took out a plastic packet and put the poop in the packet with his hand and threw it in the dustbin. I was just watching and said that is civilization. This is done by everyone there,” he said.

“So unfortunate, educated people who are proud of keeping very good species of dogs, and when you talk to them they will tell you the pedigree of the dogs and then what they do on the roads,” the CJ added.

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