According to the statistics provided by the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) cases of cruelty against animals has risen by nearly 18% in two years (see box).

Experts opined that the non-stringent Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, is one of the root causes of the problem. They said since the offence is bailable, violators lack regard for the law. The statistics also revealed that animals like cats, dogs, horses and cattle are the most abused.

Lt Col (Rtd) J C Khanna from BSPCA, “The figures clearly indicate that people still don’t treat animals well. The act needs to be more stringent to make such people realise that they won’t be spared.” PAWS founder Sunish Subramanian said people adopt pets when they are very young.

“Once an animal grows, so does the cost of maintenance. This is the time when owners abandon them. The owners need to understand that they must love their pets and not bring them home as objects to be admired.”