Northumberland County Council’s animal welfare team was presented with a prestigious Platinum Pawprint accolade at the 2018 RSPCA Community Animal Welfare Footprint Awards.
The awards recognise and celebrate public service organisations that go above and beyond to ensure high animal welfare standards in their communities.
The platinum award was given to the Northumberland authority’s team because it has achieved the highest Gold standard for more than five years in a row.
It has been acclaimed for its continuing high standards in the provision of the stray dog service.
In 2017/18, the team of officers dealt with 620 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.
Two reasons have been put forward to explain the reduction. One is the new legislation brought in last year that makes it compulsory for dog owners to have their pets microchipped and the other is the role of social media in helping to reunite lost dogs with their owners.
Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services at Northumberland County Council, said: “We have a team of great officers and this prestigious award is a worthy recognition for the outstanding service they provide. We are very proud of them.
“This platinum award is only awarded to teams that have consistently delivered the highest standard of service for animals in their area.
“Northumberland County Council is one of only a few councils in the North of England to receive the platinum award.
“It is important that owners continue to play their part and take necessary steps to prevent stray dogs before accidents happen.
“I ask that all dog owners, including those with working dogs, ensure that their pets are wearing ID tags, that they are microchipped and also that their details are kept up-to-date on the microchip database.”