Pets in Auroville
1 April 2019, Auroville Council and Helpanimals:
When it comes to dogs, cats and other animals in residential areas, opinion is often sharply divided, between animal lovers and those who consider them a nuisance. Therefore, guidelines agreeable by all seems like the necessity of the day and owning a pet should be taken up only after understanding what the related responsibilities are:
- Commitment: When adopting a pet, you should be sure that you would be able to care for it for its entire life. Get a pet only after evaluating the time and energy you can give to its well-being and avoid impulsive decisions when selecting a pet. A pet is not a ‘brief entertainment’ either for you or your children, nor is it a status symbol. Average lifespan of a Dog is 10 to 12 years and that of a cat is 10 to 14 years and you’d need to commit to the relationship for its lifetime. Pets are not always perfect, and you should be willing to commit the time, effort and money to also work through any behavioral or health challenges that might arise in its lifetime.
- Investment: Pet ownership requires an investment of time and money. You would have to make sure that it receives preventive health care such as yearly vaccinations, regular parasite control, spaying and neutering as well as care for any illness or injuries. When you take into consideration all that is required in terms of food and healthcare, the average cost of keeping a dog or a cat comes easily to 2 to 6 thousand Rs. /month depending on the breed of the pet. The time you’d need to spend with the pet to properly socialize and train it, provide appropriate exercise and mental stimulation, care for it when ill etc. at an average would be between 2 to 3 hours per day.
- Respect and be respected: Respect others by preventing your pet from negatively impacting other people, animals and the environment. This includes proper waste disposal, noise control, and not allowing your pet to stray or become wild. Providing your pet with love, food and shelter is not enough to keep it happy. An unexercised pet is an unhappy pet that will roam, be noisy and be a nuisance to others. Providing exercise and mental stimulation appropriate to your pet’s age, breed, and health status is an important aspect of keeping it not only in shape, but also happy and the neighbors undisturbed.
Get a pet only if you have the time, energy and finances to properly care for it throughout its lifetime. Hoping that all pet owners will become responsible pet owners in Auroville.