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Adopt Shimla stray dogs, get free parking & garbage fee off Shimla MC Unveils Plan To Tackle Problem

November 20, 2019 05:59 AM

COURTESY TOI NOV 20

Adopt Shimla stray dogs, get free parking & garbage fee off
Shimla MC Unveils Plan To Tackle Problem
Anand.Bodh@timesgroup.com

Shimla:

After trying various ways to rid this popular hill destination of stray dogs, the Shimla Municipal Corporation has now come up with a combo offer of garbage fee waiver and free parking in the residential area for any citizen who adopts a stray dog. However, if the person fails to take look after the dog properly, he will be slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000.


Shimla is home to around 2,000 stray dogs and it is not uncommon to see dogs roaming in packs on the Mall Road and the Ridge -- popular tourist spots in Himachal Pradesh’s capital.

The matter had even reached the courts. In September 2009, a division bench of high court had said the Municipal Corporation (MC) was duty-bound to get rid of the stray dogs and that it was its statutory duty to provide animal kennels and shelters. In 2013, the court had asked the MC to rid the city of stray dogs within three months, but no plan worked. The matter is reportedly pending in the Supreme Court.

Faced with shortage of dog pounds and shelter homes, the civic body has come up with this scheme. Shimla MC Commissioner Pankaj Rai said the Michigan Humane Society, a private non-profit organization, is providing animal welfare and sheltering services in the Detroit area of the US, and they had tried to replicate the concept. “People interested in adopting a stray dog will have to fill up a form and enter into an agreement with the Shimla MC assuring that the animal would be given good food, medical treatment and care,” Rai said. The form will also have a section for getting the consent of the entire family to ensure that the adopted dog is looked after well and provided shelter.

“We will also put a collar of a particular colour on the adopted dog as an identification tag as well as provide free medication for it,” Rai said, adding that periodic inspection will be carried out by a team of MC officials to ensure that dog is not abandoned.

The MC Commissioner said that apart from the garbage fee waiver and free parking, people adopting stray dogs will also be honoured by the civic body. In the next phase, the resident welfare associations will be roped in. “We want to engage resident welfare associations through councillors to ensure that dogs are not left without food. Associations adopting the stray dogs in their wards will also be honoured,” he added

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