In the recent Community Animal Welfare Footprints (CAWF) awards, Swindon Borough Council’s licensing team secured a prestigious gold standard for their stray dog service.

The award scheme was developed in 2008 by the country’s largest and oldest animal welfare charity, the RSPCA, to recognise outstanding work carried out by local authorities, housing providers and other public service organisations, and to highlight those who go above and beyond statutory requirements to improve animal welfare and their communities.

Dealing with stray dogs goes beyond just animal welfare, as it has a much wider impact on the community on matters such as street cleanliness, public protection and anti-social behaviour. This is why the RSPCA are recognising and celebrating the important work being done to respond to stray dogs and related issues in communities across England and Wales.

The Council’s licensing team had to comply with a wide range of criteria in order to be awarded the gold standard, including assistance with compulsory micro-chipping, and regular proactive work to encourage responsible dog ownership. One of the ways in which the team meets these criteria is the provision of educational sessions in schools to help children understand how to safely interact with dogs.

Jordan McEwan, Animal Warden for Swindon Borough Council, said: “We are extremely pleased that once again we have secured a gold standard for our stray dog service. The increasing demand being placed on all aspects of this service, including nuisance and dangerous dog reports, shows how necessary it is in Swindon.

“Between April 2015 and March 2016, 181 stray dogs were reported to us, whereas from April 2016 to March 2017, we had 221 reports, showing an increase of 22 per cent. We are passionate about the welfare of Swindon’s dogs and of the general public, and we’re confident that we will continue to go from strength to strength next year.

Cllr Cathy Martyn, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Safety, said: “Our animal wardens do an outstanding job of improving the welfare of dogs in Swindon and the wider community. I am thrilled that their work has been recognised by the RSPCA and I am confident that they will continue to deliver an excellent service.”

To report a lost or found dog to the Animal Warden, call 01793 445500.

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