The Gold Footprint Award from the RSPCA has again been awarded to Wokingham Borough Council for the way it cares for local stray dogs.
This is the seventh consecutive year the borough council has won the gold standard in the national award, which rewards public sector organisations going above and beyond basic and statutory animal welfare standards.
Entries for this year were at an all-time high with 129 applications, and a whopping 62 Gold Awards given in the Stray Dog Footprint Award category - more than in any year so far.
“Our aim is to reunite a dog and owner and get it home, or find it a new one as quickly as possible,” said Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for resident services.
“If there is a delay we take the dog to our kennels, which have underfloor heating and are staffed by trained professionals and manned 24/7. All newbies are assessed by the vet, whether sick or not.
“We keep the dog for up to seven days to give the owner a chance to claim it. If the dog isn’t claimed we find a space in a rescue centre, but only use rescues that vaccinate, microchip, neuter and home check.”
Rachel Williams, senior parliamentary adviser for the RSPCA said: “We at the RSPCA would like to say a big congratulation to all the winners.
“These awards are a chance for these public sector organisations and housing providers who have really made a difference or come up with an inspiring new idea to improve animal welfare within their communities to shine and be recognised.”
Established in 2008, the annual Footprint awards are supported this year by George Eustice, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) along with the Local Government Association, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.
Gold standard is the highest achievement.
Wokingham Borough’s animal warden service comes under the environmental health and licensing department, which is run jointly with West Berkshire Council. However, the award only applies to Wokingham Borough Council.
Wokingham Borough Council’s dog warden can be contacted on (0118) 974 6000, or for more general information visit the animal welfare pages online.