The PMC (Pune Municipal Corporation) in an attempt to keep the city’s footpaths, roads and parks clean issued orders to fine pet parents a sum of Rs 500/- should they not clean after their pets.
There has been a huge increase in pet ownership in the city and almost every society has several flats and houses with pets. While most responsible owners clean after their pets, there are a few individuals who are reluctant or indifferent to this initiative.
Many are in turn demanding laws to protect pet ownership, rather and imposing fines on ownership related issues.
Speaking to Pune365, Dyaneshwar Molak, Head of PMC’s Solid Waste Management Department said, “Citizens going for walks and jogs early morning complained of pet poop not picked up by the pet parents causing health issues to others.
We had started this initiative earlier in some parts of the city including Kothrud, Satara Road and Deccan Gymkhana.
Our officers are told to keep a close on eye on pet owners coming for a walk in the morning at parks and on roads, If anyone is found not cleaning after their pet, they are liable to pay a fine of Rs 500.
While asking about open defection by humans, Molak said that “We have built toilets in slums and villages in and around Pune. Pune has also been ranked third in ‘no open defecation’. There may be one case in ten, but they are fined too.
Speaking about stray dogs, he said “We can’t control that, but we can act on issues which are under our control. The drive is to promote Swatch Bharat Abhiyaan and work towards the Clean City Initiative, Mokal added.
‘Scoop the poop’ is truly a commendable initiative launched by PMC. I totally back this initiative and it is need of the hour, says Preeti Agarwal, Owner of Petville and a pet parent.
Cleaning after your pets is also a part of responsible pet ownership.
We all had this habit of taking our pets out and letting them do their job and completely ignore the poop that lay on the ground. But, after reading the health hazards it can cause to our kids and us, I totally agree to this system of scooping the poop.
Preeti urges citizens to pledge to ‘clean after your pets’ and keep the environment clean. From disposable bags to poop scoopers, everything is available in pet stores to make cleaning easier for us.
Let us help one another in making the environment cleaner and healthier, Preeti added.
Another Pet Parent, Shweta Katre, says it is their job, not the pet parents! We take our pets out so that they can poop and pee outside the house and if we have to pick it up, we may as well train them inside our house.
I don’t mind picking up my pets poop as they don’t always poop outside, but there are so many rules and regulations which are only expected to be followed by pet owners and volunteers.
There are so many parks in the city itself where pets are not allowed to walk despite being on a leash. So many times we have approached the respective ward officer with our concerns, but no action is taken.
Why is it always about responsible pet ownership and never about protecting pet ownership, Neha quips.
At first it was only housing societies but now even PMC is targeting Pet parents? asks Namrata Mulay, Pet parent.
We understand that responsible pet ownership is essential and almost 80 per cent of pet parents do clean after their pets. If PMC wants to act for pets dirtying the streets, then why is there no action on people spitting and throwing garbage on the roads and streets?
The initiative for a spit-free Pune is nowhere to be seen now. They claim of building toilets, but have they checked on the ground for open defecation by humans. Before penalising pet parents, the government should ensure that the authorities are doing their job well.
Moreover, If PMC wants to fine pet parents, there should be strict laws from PMC itself to protect pet owners and the strays all over the city. Why do we have to get an animal activist or an organisation involved to get justice every time?
Every other day, there are dog poisoning cases in the city and the department ignores this and is only busy introducing new initiatives which do not last even a week, Mulay added.
#All views in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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