Is the life of a stray worth just Rs.50: A petty fine for cruelty against stray dogs in India

The Author of this blog is Mr. Yuvraj Singhal, a student of 3rd year, BBA LLB(Hons.) at University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 

“Never believe that animals suffer less than humans. Pain is the same for them that it is for us. Even worse, because they cannot help themselves.” – Louis J. Camuti


What is animal cruelty?

Animal cruelty comprises of range of harmful behaviors towards animals from neglecting them to malicious killing of an animal.[1]

 The most vulnerable category of animals that face cruelty are the strays, in fact all animal cruelty is a psychological distress to the society but there are law and remedies for the cruelty against pets, wildlife animals, extinct species and various other categories but when it comes to strays, there is a petty fine of INR50 and a maximum imprisonment of  3 months that too if the a big specie like a cow or buffalo is exposed to cruelty but there is no concern for stray dogs, on the other hand the fine on cruelty against pets is an imprisonment of 5 years under The Prevention of cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.[2] Strays belong to no one that is why they are not considered as an asset under the legislature of India but they have life too if they cannot speak and are not an asset to any individual that doesn’t give a right to anyone to treat them unfairly.

Animal abuse is a big concern and no one in the society raises voice for their better living and if the problem cannot be set right then there must be proper revised laws and remedies to increase the fine and term of imprisonment on committing this offence. How inhumane can a person be to kill a harmless creature like a puppy which cannot even speak instead in March, a woman in Bengaluru was arrested for allegedly killing eight stray puppies, which she claimed was to “teach the mother dog a lesson”.[3]

 Laws protecting stray animals in India

There are various law regarding animal abuse that are imposed due the increasing cases[4], these laws are bit of a relief for the strays however, the major issue of increasing the fine from INR50 is not covered under these laws, these laws concentrate on preventing the strays from getting exposed to cruelty and neglect, some of them are mentioned below :

1.    1. It is not illegal to feed stray animals:

Law imposed by the legislature says that it is not illegal to feed stray dogs but people are being assaulted for feeding the stray dogs in India. 

2.    2. It is illegal to poison stray animals:

Poisoning stray dogs is a criminal offence under section 11 of The Prevention of cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.[5] Still cases of poisoning stray dogs on a large number are very common in India. Here such laws are proved not efficient for the reduction of this issue.

3.    3. It is illegal to cause harm to the stray dogs:

Provisions like section 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code prohibit anyone to cause any harm or injury to the strays. Instead cases of intentionally causing harm to the strays are being heard on daily basis 

4.    4. Relocation of the stray animals from their territory is a violation of the law:

Relocating stray animals from their territory is the clear violation of provisions like section 11(1)(i) and section 11(1)(j) of PCA act, 1960.[6] 

5.    5. Intentionally starving the stray dogs and taking away their shelter is illegal:

Section 11(1)(h) prohibits anyone to intentionally starve a stray dog or to take away their shelter; still the people who feed and help stray dogs are being stopped by the society for performing this good cause.

Laws against Animal abuse and cruelty in different countries

Unlike India many countries like America, Australia and Russia have severe fine and punishments for cruelty against stray animals. In America, Penal Code 597 PC is the main California law that defines animal abuse.[7] Under this section it is a crime for anyone to maliciously kill, harm, maim or torture an animal. Charges like misdemeanor or a felony can be filed against a person committing abuse on stray animals like dogs, cattle etc. which carries a potential punishment of up to 3 years of imprisonment in a California state prison and a fine of $20,000USD.[8] Moreover, if a deadly weapon is being used in the abuse then the judge has the power to extend the sentence by an additional year.

In Queensland, Australia, animal abuse is an offence under the Animal Care and Protection Act, 2001 for anyone who causes any harm or injury to the animal.[9] Causing unreasonable or unnecessary pain to animals defines animal cruelty, this charge carries a severe punishment of 3 years of imprisonment and a maximum penalty of $266,990 for any person convicted for cruelty against animals.[10] 


The laws protecting stray animals in India are somewhere similar to the laws of other countries mentioned above, drafted after keeping in mind the best interest of these harmless creatures and there is nothing wrong with the provisions, but the whole problem arises when someone violates these laws and which people usually do, on violating these laws a fine of rupees 50 is imposed on the accused which is not worth to the life of a living creature at this point our legislature lacks behind, keeping aside the fact that the stray animal does not belong to anyone.

This whole article revolves around the major issue of a petty fine imposed on the cruelty and neglect against stray animals especially dogs. If people won’t stop hurting stray animals in spite of the laws imposed then the government should increase the fine on violating these laws to a reasonable amount and the term of imprisonment should be increased to at least 5 years, which will close the door for the repeated abuse against stray dogs and evidently the animal cruelty cases will be reduced, also the laws that are protecting stray animals will not be violated. It is a heartily request to feed a stray everyday and raise your voice for those who can’t speak.

[4]  Laws regarding animal abuse from

[6]  Section 11(1)(i) and section 11(1)(j) of the Prevention of Cruelty To Animals Act, 1960 at


  1. God bless you yuvraj.
    Wish you very all the best in your future endeavors.

  2. Beautifully written article, Yuvi. Point well made.

  3. Beautifully written article, Yuvi. Point well made.


Post a Comment