The chat messages I read in my Apartment Residents WhatsApp group made me think. I read it again and again. Here it is, I started to read again.
Dear Pet owners, – kindly adhere to the pet policy that was circulated. We are receiving complaints from some residents. Policy again attached for your ready reference
Main complaint is that pets are brought to the common areas without adhering to the permitted timings as per the pet policy.
Resident B 707
Dear Sir, this has already been discussed and informed to the association that such timings violate residents access rights to common areas. We will comply with all the other rules of the pet policy except that of the timings. Please note that restricting the timing of the pet movements interferes with the owners’ rights and freedom. We can discuss on this separately.
Resident B 503
You mean we can discuss on the timing.
Resident B 707
We all have timings, and the pet also has timings. So far, we have maintained a respectable distance from others and also given our dog enough training. If anybody has any issue or our pet has bothered them – Please let me know , and I am not aware of any such issues so far.
I suggest we can have one on one discussion and sort this out, it will be good for our community. Policy is a policy and it should be followed. If everyone wants to have, their own rule is not good for the community welfare.
Resident B 707
We have always been very cooperative and have agreed on the policy and its elements which are fair for all and also brought to the notice of the association what we feel is not right. Policy is not something which is meant to comfort a few people or for those who don’t like pets. We have already raised our objection and informed the association that we will not be in a position to comply the rule with regard to the timings. Please refer to my earlier WhatsApp messages.
I fully agree and support what the secretary says. Once polices are framed and approved by the majority then it has to be followed by all its members.
Resident B 707
As informed earlier the law of the land with regard to the pet is very clear. I will share the extract of law in the interest of the larger group here. The Association can take a majority view on certain issues and pass the by laws of the association but can’t control the individual’s right to use the common area and its timings.
I would like to stop this discussion here and not to argue further. I request that the community members should follow the rules set by the association for the welfare of the residents.
Resident B 707
We informed about getting a pet 60 days in advance and before getting it we voluntarily declared and informed the association and only after that the association started to work on the policy.
Please find the extract of the law with regard to Pets –
Bylaws and Rules with respect to Pet Dogs and Pet Owning Residents in a Resident Welfare Association ( RWA)
General Do’s and Don’ts:
- Any RWA cannot ban residents from keeping pets even by obtaining a consensus.
- The introduction of any sort of ban on residents keeping a pet cannot be introduced even if majority is in favour of such a ban.
- There cannot be any discrimination on size of pets allowed in the housing society.
- Dog Barking is not a valid reason to impose any pet related ban.
- Any ban on keeping pets cannot be introduced even after amendment of society bye-laws and regulations.
- Banning pets is direct interference with fundamental freedom guaranteed to the citizens as per the constitution.
- Any pets and resident owners of the pets not violating any municipal law are permissible to stay in the society or community.
Use of Lift by Pets:
- Pets cannot be legally disallowed from using lifts as per previous court rulings.
- No changes can be imposed on banning of use of lifts by pets.
- Courts believe that dogs are like family and must have access to lifts in any society or community.
- RWA cannot impose any sort of special charges or fee for pets or their owners for providing lift facilities.
Use of Park by Pets:
- Banning pets from having access to garden is short-sighted and pets can show aggression in frustration.
- It is better to fix dedicated timeline allowing access to garden/parks for pets.
- The timings for access to garden or park for pets can be intimidated to the general body of the RWA.
Use of Leashes and/or Muzzles:
- Pet owners can be requested to keep their pets on leash when in common areas.
- Negligent pet owners can be fined if their actions cause any trouble to other residents.
Defection by Pets in Community Premises:
- Since there is no central law requiring cleaning of pet excreta, RWA can request pet owners to clean the same.
- RAW however cannot impose a fine or special charge on pet owners in case of pet excreta in common area or community premises.
- Pet owners must train their pets to use the same area for excreta each day without causing trouble to other residents.
- No RAW or member can intimidate a pet owner into giving up or abandoning of his or her pet under any circumstances.
Resident B 503
I also think it is not right to impose a timing restriction on anyone, but association can enforce that the pet owners should ensure that the pets are not disturbing others in the community. This is my personal view and not for any argument.
Resident C 105
As long as pets not disturbing others it should be ok. We share spaces in the apartment and cannot restrict anyone if they chose to have pets. At least I haven’t seen any pet creating problems like barking, causing harm to others….All are well-behaved.
Resident D 203
Yes, I totally agree with the President and the secretary. I am still wondering how the members of the association don’t abide by the rules. Though the pet is leashed and trained, it cannot be controlled in an emergency. An animal is an animal though it is trained…considering the matter of fact that there are people who are not fond of and are afraid of pets, the association put some rules in place and some common codes of conduct considering the interest and the safety of the association….FYKI we can hear loud barking sounds after 9 pm
……and with some new members participating the chat continued some supported the cause of pets and others against it.
As I followed the series of this communication between the different members of the association, it posed me a question
Why do people act differently or hold different views while reacting to a situation ?
People generally hold views either for or against what has happened in a given situation, which influences their action or reaction. For either set of people, what they do and think makes complete sense to them.
One set of people are fond of pets, and they see it as one of their family members, so it doesn’t pose any threat to them, and they feel comfortable moving around with their pets, and they expect or assume that their pets would occur in the same way to others. For the other set of people may be their experience with the pets are not so comforting, they always have a fear and the pets occurs to them as a dangerous being. They feel that the pet owners never seem to understand their pain and feel pets moving around is an interference to their personal space.
Hence, there is a natural conflict between the two groups, and it is neither one’s fault.
There is always something to learn from every experience, and what can we learn from this ?
Our perspective of the situation decides our action and dominates our views about it.
The pet may be well-behaved and harmless it can be the real fact, but it is less important if our perspective about it is totally different, and it decides what is real for us about that situation.