You can take your pet out in case of a medical emergency without fearing prosecution by cops for violating restrictions.
Police have clarified that pets can be taken out for vaccination, sterilization or treatment. Like in the case of people, a prescription — in this instance from a veterinarian — will be all that people need to carry when taking their pets for medical purposes.
The clarification from Kolkata traffic police on Monday came after several pet owners and animal lovers tried to obtain an e-pass citing the medical condition of pets. The applications were rejected by police.
One pet owner recounted how she was forced to return home while taking her dog for vaccination and check-up as she did not have a document. “I had to take my four-year-old dog Choco to the vet but was stopped by the traffic guards at the nakas and had to turn back. These are yearly vaccines and it is not always possible to have a prescription for something that is routine and takes place once a year,” pointed out Ananya Mitra, who owns a German Shepherd.
Enraged by the persistent rejections of e-pass applications, pet owners had taken to the social media and pointed out that while autos were plying unhindered and people were travelling in cars to shop at malls or eat and drink at restaurants and pubs, the police need to take their cases into consideration when it comes to taking pets for treatment.
In response to a specific tweet by a cat owner who wanted to take the pet out for sterilization, DC (traffic) Arijit Sinha tweeted on Monday: “Please carry a prescription (online prescription would be sufficient) given by a veterinary doctor.”
Police said that there were no restrictions on movement of pets for medical purpose. “The rule basically remains the same for people and animals. You will need a document to explain why you and the pet need to travel. If the answer is satisfactory, there is no problem. There have been instances when we have helped rush pets to vets amidst the pouring rains last week,” said an officer.
Pet owner and breeder Aniruddha Bose, who has 11 dogs, said some policemen were compassionate but a rule needed to be set. “I had to take a few pups to the doctor for check-up. I was stopped at the nakas but when they saw that I had a dog that needed treatment, they allowed me to go. With this directive, I hope other pet owners are also able to go to the vet,” Bose said.
Veterinarian Subhas Sarkar, who has kept his Maniktala chamber open during the restrictions, welcomed the police clarification. Several of his patients had faced issues while trying to reach the chamber.
“Many pet owners had problem commuting for vaccination or regular check-up. This led to delay in their vaccination schedule which has adverse effect on their health. I have on multiple occasions sent online advice requesting the traffic authorities to let people travel with their pets for treatment,” Sarkar said.
Source: Times of India