Council given RSPCA gold stamp of approval for work with stray dogs

Animal Welfare Officers in Northumberland have been given the gold stamp of approval by the RSPCA for their work with stray dogs.

Northumberland County Council’s Animal Welfare Team has received a Gold Footprint Award for the fifth year running from the national animal charity.

The RSPCA works with local authorities, the police and housing associations to help them deliver animal welfare services, and the awards scheme recognises organisations that work tirelessly to ensure high welfare standards for animals in the services they provide.

The team were recognised for their regular proactive work to educate owners about responsible pet ownership, preventative measures to reduce straying such as providing an out-of-hours service and offering a micro-chipping service.

In 2016/17 the team dealt with 714 stray dog cases either returning the dogs to their owners or taking them to a place of safety. Nationally the number of stray dogs collected by councils is falling and this is also the case in Northumberland. The reduction has been put down to two reasons; the new legislation brought in last year which makes it compulsory for dog owners to have their pets micro-chipped and the role of social media in helping to reunite lost dogs with their owners.

Northumberland County Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services said

“ I’d like to congratulate the team on this excellent achievement. They  work very hard and do much more than deal with dog fouling and I am delighted that the RSPCA has recognised their commitment to animal welfare at a national level.

“ This is the fifth year the team has achieved the top award, but it is really important that owners continue to play their part and take necessary preventative steps to prevent stray dogs before accidents happen. I ask that all dog owners, including those with working dogs,  to ensure their pets are wearing ID tags, that they are microchipped and that their details are kept up to date on the microchip database."

Residents can report animal welfare issues directly to the team by visiting the council’s website


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