Over 40 councilors unanimously decided to impose a tax on dog owners in Sagar City, a first for the state, in order to protect the “security and cleanliness” of the neighborhood’s residents.
The new law, which was drafted by the Sagar Municipal Corporation after consulting with legal experts, will go into force in April of this year. Chandrashekhar Shukla, the municipal commissioner of Sagar, supported the choice, claiming a “growing stray dog menace” in the city.
“In the wake of rising stray dog menace and dirtying of public places by defecation of pet dogs, all the municipal wards of Sagar have unanimously resolved for strict registration, vaccination of dogs as well as levying tax on those owning the pet dogs,” Shukla said.
Dog owners, though, feel the tax is unfair. The owner of a rottweiler, Lavesh Chowdhary, suggested that the city had to give dog owners a place to let their animals out instead. “This is wrong. We keep dogs for safety. If the corporation wants us to pay tax for keeping dogs, they should give us a garden or space where we can relieve them.”
Another resident who owns a labrador called the tax “ridiculous”. “The owner keeps the dog in his house and gets it vaccinated. The municipal corporation should look after the stray animals. For those who are already domesticated, it’s unfair to ask for tax for them,” Vinod Sen said.
48 council members of the Sagar Municipal Corporation unanimously agreed to implement the tax for “security and cleanliness” during the public meeting. Sagar Municipal corporation chairman Vrindavan Ahirwar said, “The councilors of the city unanimously decided to impose a tax on dog owners. The tax is not a big thing for the municipal corporation but it’s essential for the safety and health of the people.”