In the last three months, Pune has witnessed three separate incidents involving pit bull terriers, reigniting a debate on whether these muscular dogs should be allowed as pets. Calls for a ban on breeding such aggressive animals are growing, with some residents urging the city authorities to follow the example of other Indian cities that have prohibited keeping pit bulls as pets.
While critics argue that pit bulls are known for their ferocity and have been involved in fatal attacks worldwide, some owners strongly disagree. They emphasize the intelligence, loyalty, and friendliness of pit bulls, stating that these dogs only become aggressive when their owners are threatened.
In a recent incident in Shahu Colony at Lakshmi Nagar in Parvati, a pit bull was unleashed on a man who had upset its owner by accidentally causing ash to fall on him during a bonfire. The victim suffered severe injuries, leading to a case being registered against the dog owner, Aditya Nitin Andekar.
Similar incidents, including an attack on police officers attempting to apprehend a wanted gangster and an altercation over leash control, have raised concerns. A petition has been filed in the high court seeking a ban on “dangerous” dog breeds like pit bulls, American bulldogs, and rottweilers. The court has directed authorities to compile a comprehensive record on the issue, emphasizing the promotion of local dog breeds.
As the controversy unfolds, legal actions under section 289 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 have been taken against owners involved in such incidents, carrying penalties of imprisonment up to six months or a fine of Rs 1,000, or both.