Darlington’s Dog Warden Team has once again achieved the Gold standard in the Stray Dog Footprint animal welfare awards.
Launched by the RSPCA in 2008 the Community Animal Welfare Footprints (CAWF) is the only award scheme across England and Wales which recognises good practice from local authorities, housing providers and contingency planners in relation to animal welfare.
The scheme rewards those organisations exceeding basic and statutory service requirements with the aim of achieving higher animal welfare standards.
The bronze, silver and gold award levels each carry progressively more demanding criteria and this is the eighth year Darlington Borough Council’s Dog Warden Team has been awarded the Stray Dog Footprint Gold standard.
Andy Wood, Darlington’s Dog Warden said: “We’re thrilled to be able to continue to offer a Gold standard of service. We are a small team and we work hard to ensure the highest possible animal welfare standards in the borough.”
Rachel Williams, senior parliamentary advisor for the RSPCA said: “I am so delighted that so many organisations have maintained or bettered their CAWF award this year and very encouraged to see new entries too – many congratulations to all the winning organisations.
“In the current economic climate, it is by no means easy for organisations to come up with, fund and give manpower to protect and improve animal welfare within their communities, so our awards are their chance to shine and be recognised for the difference they are making.
“The Footprints are the only awards available that recognise the hard work of local authorities, social housing providers and public sector bodies on animal welfare, so it is great to be able to offer this for the ninth year now, to reward the hard work that organisations do to improve animal welfare.”
One added element that helps enhance the Dog Warden’s service is the team’s dog food collection initiative, which boasts collection boxes at Asda in Whinbush Way, Wilko in the town centre, and at the council’s Central House Annexe, Gladstone Street.
The initiative encourages shoppers to buy an extra tin or bag of dog food – or cat food – and leave it in a marked box near the exit. The food is then collected by the dog warden and distributed between the Darlington FoodStore Network and Deerness Kennels.
Dog food that ends up in the Darlington FoodStore Network goes towards helping families who are finding it hard to feed their pets. Food donations to Deerness kennels are always gratefully received and help to drive down the costs of caring for Darlington’s stray dogs.
Andy added: “The dog food collection is just one of the things we do to enhance our service and it’s proved a great success. We receive regular donations from all our collection points and it really does help make a difference.”
Go to Darlington’s Dog Warden Service for more information.
For more information about the RSPCA and its award scheme log onto the website at www.rspca.org.uk