Hyderabad: Have you recently brought home a pet pup or rescued a dog from a compound? In case you have or are already a proud owner of man’s best friend, then you should know that you need a licence to do so. Not a very popularly known fact, under the HMC Act 1955 (amended in 2008), it is mandatory for all pet owners to register their dogs with the corporation every year. Owners are required to pay a sum of Rs 50 a year.
While officials with the Veterinary section of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) wonder what stops denizens from attaining the pet dog licences, despite being in the know, figures from the five zones with the GHMC show that the civic body issued over 430 licences in the first seven months of the year. However, officials say that the number has remained pretty stagnant over the years, reflecting no growing trend. According to Dr Venkateswara Reddy, the chief veterinary officer (CVO), GHMC, denizens are aware of the mandate but not of the benefits, which stops them from obtaining licence.
“Once a pet dog is registered with us, we provide a free anti-rabbis vaccination, issue the certificate, and also take care of post-death formalities like burial etc. Also, in case the owner is travelling out of town with the pet, we issue a No Objection certificate,” informed Dr Reddy. Further, he added, “If any of the neighbours complain about any pet dog, we have authority to forcefully register them with us making sure the dog is safe from diseases.”
The veterinary section of the civic body have, till August this year, issued licences to 434 pet owners in the GHMC limits, which is dominated by the North zone with 242 issued licences, covering the Secunderabad region. West zone issued 93, whereas Central zone and South zone issued 48 and 42 respectively. However, the East zone has issued only 9 licences till August this year.
Dr Abdul Wakil, assistant director, west zone, said, “Apart from issuing licences, we also take into custody dogs that are involved in biting public, put it under observation and also study the brain sample.”
The corporation has extended its hands to various residents’ welfare associations and NGOs are also creating awareness about the need for registering dogs. With figures showing a disparity across the city, wherin the North Zone registered 509 pets last year while the East zone registered only 23, Dr L Goverdhan Reddy, assistant director, North zone, emphasises on the need for other organisations to spread the word.
“Veterinarians from Blue Cross, People for Animals, and so on work along with us in issuing the certificates and inform the denizens about the benefits of registration.” As of now, licences can be obtained by approaching the GHMC citizens’ service centre within seven days from application.