Gold standard for animal welfare team

Published: Friday 29th September 17

Wandsworth has again won plaudits from the RSPCA for its commitment to animal welfare.

The RSPCA’s 2017 Community Animal Welfare Footprint (CAWF) awards recognise good practice from local authorities and other public sector organisations in relation to animal welfare.

One of the awards

They achieved the highest gold standard in both the stray dogs and housing categories – both of which they have consistently achieved since the awards began in 2008.

The gold standard requires councils to have animal-friendly policies and procedures that go well beyond statutory requirements.

Wandsworth has a dedicated Animal Welfare Team which helps track down lost pets, responds to complaints about dangerous or nuisance animals and encourages responsible pet ownership. Their work includes:

  • A schools visit programme
  • A comprehensive work experience programme
  • Courses in safety around dogs
  • A free neutering service for registered dogs (in partnership with the Wandsworth & Wimbledon branch of the RSPCA)
  • One-to-one advice for residents whose dogs may cause anti social behaviour or nuisance to others

Wandsworth was also the first council in the country to introduce compulsory pet microchip and registration scheme for council tenants and leaseholders and successfully lobbied central government to extend the scheme UK-wide.

Since then hundreds of animals have been chipped, helping to curb anti-social behaviour issues on local estates and reuniting dozens of lost pets with their owners.  This service is currently still being offered free of charge.

The council’s community services spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “Our animal welfare team consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to provide an excellent service to borough residents and their pets, and these awards reflect that.

“Our microchipping scheme led the way in terms of dog control, and the team works with local schools and communities to raise awareness of animal welfare.”

For more information on the borough’s dog control policies, visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/dogs.

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