Northumberland County Council’s animal welfare team has received a Gold Footprint Award from the national animal charity.
The awards recognise and celebrate public service organisations that go above and beyond to ensure high animal welfare standards in their communities.
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 2019/20 the team dealt with 560 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 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.
Cllr John Riddle, cabinet member with responsibility for community services, said: "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 tenth year the team has achieved the top award, demonstrating a consistently high standard of service. It is really important that owners continue to play their part and take the necessary steps to prevent stray dogs before accidents happen."
Residents can report animal welfare issues at www.northumberland.gov.uk