Is It Legal To Feed Stray Animals On The Streets?

Recent animal abuse cases have sparked a new debate over stray animal laws. Be it India or any other country, being a stray animal is like being in a battle zone. From being beaten cruelly to being forced out of their territory, they go through a lot.

But in the same world, there are people who not just adore their own pets, but also love to take care of stray animals.

Wondering whether you can really take care or feed these poor souls? Is it legal to feed them? Here is everything you need to know about feeding stray animals on the street.

Can you feed street stray animals?

We often overlook animals such as cats and dogs wandering around our neighbourhood because of our busy schedules, and we often disregard them.

Be it the bark of a dog or the chilling cry of a cat, anything that catches our attention for a brief moment, the next minute we completely forget.

But deep down we completely forget that as humans it is our responsibility to support, care for and look after the needy and helpless creatures who rely on us.

But instead, it is found any many parts of the world where these animals are beaten, tortured and left like they do not exist.

Keeping all this in mind and that the lives of street animals matter too, the good news is that the supreme court delayed the Delhi high court judgment allowing stray dogs to be fed in every residential community.

On a petition challenging a Delhi High Court order relating to the feeding of stray dogs, the Supreme Court issued notice to the Animal Welfare Board of India and others.

Why should you feed stray animals?

The very first thing one must understand is that stray animals completely rely on us. These animals living on the streets have no fault of their own, so all we can do is show some affection and companionship. Wondering why you should feed stray animals?

These innocent animals throughout their life never get enough food. They remain constantly hungry and thirsty and end up scavenging food from garbage dumps just to get some. Be it sun or rain, they suffer silently and have no shelter.

Every day’s a battle for them so whenever you see a stray animal make sure you feed them. You can simply place some foods in plastic containers, some water or leftover foods instead of throwing them out in the garbage.

But make sure you just don’t keep food items anywhere, better to look for places where they can likely find them.

How should you feed stray animals?

It is crucial to help stray animals, but it’s even more important to help them correctly. As street animals already suffer a lot, you must always consider the right way of feeding them.

So if you’re a beginner and just started to feed the stray animals, then here are a few basics you should know when feeding stray animals :

  • Be consistent

When feeding street animals make sure you remain consistent or else don’t start at all. Because when you suddenly stop feeding them, these poor animals, especially the younger pups and kittens, become unsure about how to get food.

  • Choose one location

When feeding street animals it is important to choose a location where you can feed them every day. This is important because it not only ensures that they are safe but also keeps them informed about where they will get their food on a regular basis. Avoid feeding in residential areas or neighbouring houses.

  • Keep a bowl of water

Just like providing street animals food, they also remain thirsty. So when feeding them, make sure to always keep a bowl of water nearby.

You can bring some food in a bowl and use the same bowl to provide water once they finish eating the dish. Avoid providing them with ice-cold water.

  • Be responsible

When feeding stray animals, try to avoid starting any fights as well as causing problems with locals. Remember that you can return to your house, but stray animals may face the consequences as they don’t have any permanent shelter.

So if you believe that any animal’s well-being is in danger, then the best option is to take legal action.

Facts you should know about protecting stray animalsĀ 

Here are some lesser-known facts that every individual should know concerning street animals :

  • Feeding stray animals is not against the law.
  • Poisoning stray animals is against the law under Section 11 of the 1960 Prevention to Cruelty Animals Act.
  • It is illegal to cause any kind of injury to any street animal under the law Section 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code and the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960.
  • People who feed stray animals are issued identification cards by the government. So if you’re someone who is looking forward to being a part of such great work then you can surely get IDs from The Animal Welfare Board of India.
  • Relocating stray animals from their natural habitat is illegal under the law Sections 11 (1) I and (j) of the PCA Act, 1960. And under the law Section 11 (1) h, PCA Act, 1960 it is illegal to starve street dogs or remove their shelter intentionally.
  • It is illegal to take away street animals against their will, especially with the goal of inflicting injury in violation of Section 9 of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. Even if someone wants to buy or sell he must have proper documentation.

Maintain harmony with people as well as street animalsĀ 

Just like your favourite pet has the right to live with respect and dignity, street animals have the right. So being a citizen of this community, every individual must have the right to feed the community animals without causing any harm.

Strays will surely live a happier and healthier life if the population is kept under control. Also, there are many NGO services you can opt for to take assistance in such tasks.

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