To all those of you who are being harassed by their neighbourhood for tending to animals….

Please remember that for the animals, if not for yourself, you need to be strong and fight this out.

While you can approach local animal welfare organisations or animal activists, but in the end, it is a fight you will have to fight on your own, for yourself and the animals you care for…

  • If talking to people and explaining them the below mentioned laws and constitutional provisions doesn’t help, then, whether you like it or you don’t, you need to approach the Police and file an F.I.R or Police Complaint against all the people who are harassing you, abusing you, threatening to kill/harm you/your property and the dogs/other animals you care for.
  • Be sure to mention full names and addresses of all the people who are harassing you and give complete true account of the matter, without exaggerating facts – take help of the points stated below to put your grievances and facts across and mention why you are seeking help from the Police and reporting this matter.
  • There is no law that prohibits feeding of street animals, and citizens who choose to do so are in fact performing a duty cast upon them by the Constitution of India. Persons, who are trying to interfere with their effort, or display aggression, can be held liable for having committed the offense described in the Indian Penal Code and criminal intimidation.
  • Moreover, as per Indian law, street dogs cannot be beaten or driven away. They can merely be sterilized in the manner envisaged in the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001(Rules under Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960), vaccinated, and then returned back to their original locations.
  • If your municipality is not doing the same, you can file a Police Complaint or FIR against the local Municipal Corporation for flouting the laws and rules mentioned above, which need to be complied with throughout the country, as PCA Act is a Central Act, i.e. it is applicable across the country and the local Police has been mandated with the responsibility of enforcing this act and reporting/booking violations/offenders.

Constitutional provisions:

  • Article 51A of the Constitutional Law of India, speaks about the duties of every citizen of India. One of these duties includes having compassion for living creatures (Article 51 A (g) of the Indian Constitution). Those who look after animals and other creatures of God are thus protected under the Constitution.


  • Article 19 of the Constitution of India, deals with right to freedom and in this freedom are included the right to profession, occupation, trade and business. Therefore, it means that every citizen has the right to occupation and if someone has taken the caring of animals as his occupation, it is legal and he has every right to carry on with his occupation.

Legal provisions:

In a Judgment passed by the Delhi Court, it has been stated that the Animal Welfare Board of India and the Municipal Authorities have in the guidelines issued by them specified the problem often faced by individuals and families who adopt and feed stray animals. The court says that it is necessary to bring into record that these individuals and families who adopt stray animals are doing a great service to humanity as they are acting in the aid and assistance of Municipal Authorities by providing these animals with food and shelter and also by getting them vaccinated and sterilized. Without assistance of such persons no local Municipal Authority can successfully carry out its ABC programme. The Court has proceeded to say that the local police and the municipal authorities are under obligation not only to encourage such adoption but also to ensure protection to such persons who come forward to take care of these animals specifically the community or neighbourhood dogs so that they are not subjected to any kind of cruelty, finally, the Court has said that every individual has the right to live his life in the manner he wants and it is necessary that the society and the community recognize it.

  • If you are a woman/girl who is being abused/harassed/threatened by neighbours/people around for being kind to animals, please also note that you can lodge F.I.Rs against these people Under Section 509 of Indian Penal Code (U/S 509 of IPC) – which is a cognizable offence.
  • Under the Govt. of India, Animal Birth Control Rules 2001 (drafted under the Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960), no sterilized dogs can be relocated from their area. As per five different High Court orders, sterilized dogs have to remain in their original areas. If the dog is not sterilized, the Society can simply ask an animal welfare organization to sterilize and vaccinate the dog. They cannot relocate them. Relocation is not permissible, as it would cause more problems such as an increase in dog bites as new dogs will move into the area who are unfamiliar with residents and therefore more likely to be hostile. All problems of stray animals have to be handled within the institutional framework available. No association, recognized or unrecognized, shall take recourse to any action regarding stray animals on their own, either themselves or through any person employed by them like security guards. While residents and Associations are free to address institutional agencies for redressal of grievances in this matter, no resident/association will interfere with the freedom of other residents in caring and attending animals.
  • Section 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 forbids the displacement of Animals from its natural environment into an environment that is hostile to it, where the animal may be injured/hurt/maimed or killed due to lack of food or fights with other animals. Also, please remember that Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 is a Central Act, i.e. it is applicable throughout the country and the powers to enforce this law have been given to the Local Police.
  • Additionally, Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code also provides for imprisonment and fine, in cases involving animal cruelty. Section 429 in The Indian Penal Code, 1860, a Central Government Act, reads as follows:

“Mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees.– Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, whatever may be the value thereof, of any other animal of the value of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment or either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.”

Following are some of the self-explanatory documents that one can look up and refer to:

1. A 2 page circular issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Training, on the aspect of street animal feeding and prohibits central government employees from harassing street dogs or those feeding/looking after them.

2. The Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001.

3. A directive issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India, constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests- provides immunity to animal feeders and restricts RWAs from harassing people tending to dogs.

4. M.C.D. (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) notification, showing the approach of the M.C.D. with regard to street animals, which is based on the law of the land.

5. A Times of India news report regarding a Delhi High Court direction to the police to protect persons who feed stray dogs.

6. A Hindustan Times news report regarding the view taken by the Supreme Court regarding stray dogs.

7. An order passed by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi

8. A Dossier of Indian Street Dog related laws and court rulings and Copies of other court judgments can be downloaded from

9. Reporting a crime and lodging an F.I.R or Police Complaint-

If you want awareness workshops held in your company or Institution on the subject of animal laws and welfare, for audience in any age-group, please write to us on

36 Comments on “To all those of you who are being harassed by their neighbourhood for tending to animals….

  1. I have small cow in my home one year old, we take full care of her, and u can say it is one of our family member, but one of neighbour does not like it, and always threatens / argues with me regarding cow.
    Pls tell me regarding laws how can I keep my cow in home, we are very serious regarding this matter.


    • Sir, please read what we have written above in this article, it can be used to file complaint against neighbour harassing anyone for any animal one is looking after..


      • Thanks for the quick response, but only one doubt small cow can be kept in residential area in home. Bunglows etc.


      • Sir, if you have a bungalow and it is spacious enough then we don’t see a problem to it..we know people who stay in Bungalows in Civil lines area of Delhi who keep cows at home for non commercial reasons.


  2. I need to contact Mr. Rishi Dev regarding animal welfare and solutions for the issues.
    Thank you
    Jeet Talwar


  3. recently i had a quarrel with a flat owner in my building.. in our society premises .he actually took the opportunity of harassing my younger sister who was out far a walk with our dog . my dog peed ..on the society road … not in anybody’s parking or car tires. he spoke very rudely and also ordered her to get water and clean it. then i personally went for the issue, i told him about the laws animal rights, and told him that he is a threat to me my family and my dog …and if this happens again i would complain to police. he is the committee member in society for our building . he said he will be sending me a notice. my question for you here is that … if he sends a notice should i go and complain to the police? .. i have got a notice from society before also .. the thing is that they will have a record. which can be used against us , and instead complain about us only that we are not co operating. so if he sends a notice again should i lodge a police complaint??


  4. My neighbor has 4 cows in parking place very near to my house they never clean der shelter and his son beat up those cows really bad. this creating so much nuisance, we cant even open our doors and windows, these cows had ticks it transferred to my dog, when we asked him to move this cows cuz of filthiness he is threatening us and said he will kill my dog because keeping dog is illegal even though we have licensed our dog.
    is it legal to keep cows in residential area?? we are really annoyed by this neighbor plz do rpl what should i do??


    • Your cow owning neighbour is acting stupid! and please get your dogs injected with anti ticks vaccine and try to resolve the issue amicable with this dumb headed neighbour of yours…fighting wont help


  5. Hi all,
    I have been taking care of 4 street dogs feeding them and they stay in my compound I only leave them for toilet etc for 5-10min daily and stand till they come inside but my neighbors give false police complaint against me saying my dog bite them etc and ask money lhhave done all vaccination and legal licence for them. What to do as every time they put false complaint n demand money they are 4-7 members only who troubles me. Please tell how to tackle this people forever my location is pune maharastra


  6. Our neighbours are neglecting their pet dog as it is old now and we are taking care of can my neighbour be taught a lesson?


    • Get a complaint filed against them in the Police station or atleast threaten them that you would do so. Also connect with local animal welfare organisations in your area, even they can issue warning letters


  7. Sir, I have a pet dog how is 11 yr old and he is with my parents how are more than 60 years old. Both my parents and the dog can not walk properly, so they take him out for pee & poo, untied. Although they take care he does not do anything inside the apartment compound, one of my neighbor who is scared of even with the site of dogs keep on complaining about every thing. Why don’t you keep him tied, his hair spreads hear and their, why he barks from inside the locked door, etc. He is not our dog but more than a kid to us. He is so scared that he hardly wants to go out. He also needs exercise, fresh air. We take good care of him, so as not to hear any complain but still complains are there.


    • Please get your senior citizen parents yo lodge a police complaint on the grounds of ‘harassment and criminal intimidation’ against this neighbour of yours.


  8. my mom is very kind towards cats and my neighbours always says that they will complain if u feed to cats she does it basically once she has given the cats doesn’t leave the resident and mess little around but these people keep harassing her plz tell me what to do


  9. hello,
    i had 5 stray dogs outside my home and one at home..recently i setrellized all of bitches.. but one of them is replaced by the hospital and i call them,they didn’t told anything about that dog..
    today one of my neighbor started fighting with my mom,saying “you are dirty,surrounded by dirty dogs. you don’t know the name of cleaning also ” etc. etc. i m a married women,living in ranchi and my mom is in delhi.. i m felling helpless,cant do anything from here.. i want someones help .
    my neighbors are so cruel one raise their voice when all that was happening with my mom..
    if i will file FIR ,the one who fought with my mom will definitely do something wrong with my family..
    plz suggest what do i do..


  10. Jaagruti team…..fantastic job..thank you so much! I am caregiver and take care of 5 community dogs in our society @ Dwarka. Have just emailed you at to organize an awareness camp for the residents which might ease up the constant struggle we all go though in the course of taking care of our ‘furry-and-four-legged’ friends.
    Kindly check and let me know, thank you very much again!


  11. Out of so many forum I saw that you are so punctual to reply. Though everyone have full right to live in this country said to be democracy.

    I have a query and I would be very happy if you can spare some time and reply.

    There is a pet dog in house next to mine activists are fighting for rights of dogs and cats. But if that dog is running behind everyone and biting children playing and any passer-by then what are the right of those poor people who have been bitten by the dog.

    Can you explain those right of poor people since you are most caring about the animals.

    Thank you very much…


    • If its a pet dog then the owners are to be blamed for letting him out without a leash or unaccompanied by his/her owners. They need to ensure their pet has updated vaccinations and is trained. Please speak to the owners on this, it is not the dog’s fault in this case.


      • So its not a fault of dog and as per me certainly its not fault of children playing. So what action should be taken against the owner. What about the painfull situation faced by little children even if the dog is vaccinated. Does vaccinating a dog gives license to bite anyone. Can you feel that pain ? What action should be taken and what is the process to take. Can you explain for poor children’s sake who have suffered this who are feeling scared of going out of the home. I am more concerned about children.


      • You still have not answered us whether the dog in question is a pet and whether you have spoken to the owner? Yes, we have been bitten by a dog so understand the pain. But it was my fault all 3 times that happened. Getting bitten by a vaccinated dog is better because atleast then one doesn’t have to take the 5 pist bite vaccine course.


      • Yes, the dog in question is a pet dog surely the parents of victims have talked to them and this incident repeated 4 to 5 times and children have to this threat that our society don’t care human but dogs. Court could not rule to provide shelter to poor people but for dogs. Since you said you have been bitten by dog it seems that was a good experience for you. I cannot stop laughing when you said that dog bite you 3 times and its your fault show you are not learning from your faults though you are trying to teach the society. it may be good for you to be bitten by vaccinated dog its your wish.These all are your personal understandings and feelings and I respect that. What I want to know is since the owner know this issue and still children are scared of going out of house is also a kind of crime an d I am sure you will be having knowledge of this as per law. And law should work towards removing fear of any individual and gives freedom to walk in this country though children cannot in their street and you don’t care about that.

        Leave everything apart tell me how and what action can be taken against the owner for their carelessness due to which our so called right to move or roam is being breached.


      • Please laugh your heart out. I was bitten in our effort to rescue injured ones who were in pain and taken aback by us chasing them to get them examined by vets.


      • You may consult a lawyer for answers to your questions. They will answer your questions much better than us.


      • Correct you are, we don’t learn from our mistakes, we continue to do what we feel is right. Getting into argument with you on this forum is definitely not something we feel is right and hence we are stopping this conversation here. Thanks.


  12. @hemant is not looking for a solution, he’s just looking for a fight. I was a kid once. There were dogs which were ferocious in my colony ,but I had the brains not to go close to them. I would have preferred it if all dogs were friendly but then I would also have preferred it if dumb idiots like Hemant weren’t born but I just have had to live with it.


  13. Pingback: If you are harassed by your neighbourhood for feeding stray dogs – Puppy Love RMVRWA

  14. My flatmate’s two dogs and one of them is very aggressive with a history of biting people. The dog’s Saint Bernard. This dog attacked me brutually few days back and bit me on chest causing 3 cm deep wound. He doesn’t tie him and neither he puts any be aware sign. I filed the FIR and reported this matter to PETA. Nobody’s visited our place till now to check on dog. The dog has skin infection and he roam around drooling everywhere freely. Now my flat mates threatening me to leave the house and started loosing his dogs in front my room when I am in it. Can anyone help me how can i deal with it. Any help or information shared will be highly appreciated.


    • This is a private matter of yours. You should resolve it amongst yourself. You have not mentioned what provokes these dogs into biting? Any particular action of yours instigates them into biting you?


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