Following a complaint forwarded from PETA India that dogs were being caged, hit, and denied adequate food at Puppy Cuddles Dog Café and based on a complaint filed by the group with the Maharashtra Animal Welfare Board (MAWB) and the Mumbai District Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the latter issued a notice to the owner of the dog café to shut it down. It also directed that the café couldn’t operate because it does not have the required permission from the relevant authorities. The café has since closed its doors and so far not reopened.
Reportedly, Puppy Cuddles Dog Café used to provide dog-boarding services. A boarding kennel operator must be registered with the state animal welfare board – in this case, the MAWB, as mandated by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017, and The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960. As per the rules, to register with the MAWB, the establishment must qualify under certain terms and conditions intended to protect animals. Failing to provide dogs with adequate exercise or caging them in an enclosure that doesn’t allow for sufficient opportunity for movement is an apparent violation of the rules and the PCA Act.
PETA India advises that those looking for a dog sitter should choose a trusted friend or relative. And when it’s necessary to seek the help of a boarding facility, be sure to visit it, obtain references, and do everything possible to ensure that your dog will not be caged or otherwise abused there.
Dog cafés are not a suitable environment for animals, because they are confined spaces with a revolving population of strangers, which may be stressful to the dogs. Animals need a stable home environment, in which they have the freedom to move around and choose the activities that they enjoy doing, rather than being handled constantly, like in a café.