Animal welfare officers in Northumberland have been given the golden 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 was recognised for its regular proactive work to educate owners about responsible pet ownership and 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. Coun 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.”