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Cambridge City Council

Council awarded with its fourth silver PawPrint Award

27 October 2023

Cambridge City Council has been awarded a silver Stray Dog Services PawPrint Award by the RSPCA. This is the fourth time the council has been presented with this award after previously gaining it in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The Stray Dog PawPrint Award recognises the council’s efforts to deliver high quality services for stray dogs to protect their welfare and promote responsible pet ownership to the wider public.

The council officers undertake regular dog handling, welfare and behavioural training. There are also policies and procedures to ensure dogs are cared for and responsibly rehomed, and provisions to effectively enforce microchipping legislation. This allows the council to manage lost and stray dogs in the city.

The Public Realm Enforcement team scans every stray dog for a microchip to identify its owner and works with Woodgreen Pets Charity to rehome dogs when the owner cannot be found.

Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Action and Environment said “I am delighted that the council has been recognised for our continued commitment to the welfare of stray dogs across Cambridge. This is testament to the hard work of our officers ensuring that animal welfare is managed to a very high standard.

“I would encourage residents to continue to work with us and report any stray dogs they come across so our teams can help to reunite them with their owners or help to find them a new and loving home with the help of Woodgreen Pets Charity.

“It is also important that dog owners chip their pets – this makes it easier for our officers to return your dog to you in the event that it gets lost.”

Helen Stapleton, Head of Intake & Rehoming at Woodgreen Pets Charity, said: “We at Woodgreen have a long-term working relationship with Cambridge City Council, delivering a 24-hour support service to take in stray dogs from their catchment area.

“All dogs arriving to us are checked for injuries or medical conditions by our on-site veterinary clinic and our team of trained dog handlers will provide the necessary care and behavioural assessments during the statutory seven-day stray period.

“Owners can collect their dog from us at any time of day or night to ensure there is no delay in being reunited. If we are not able to locate an owner within this time frame, Woodgreen will continue to care for the dog until we find them a perfect new home and offer free lifetime behavioural advice and support to the new owners. We are proud to work alongside Cambridge City Council to ensure any dogs found alone in public can be brought to us and receive the care they deserve at their time of need.”

Lee Gingell, the RSPCA’s Public Affairs Manager for Local Government, said: “Despite the challenging situation for all local authorities and public bodies across the country, we’re thrilled to see Cambridge City Council pick up the RSPCA’s Stray Dog Services Silver PawPrints Award. 

“It’s a tough time for pet owners as the cost-of-living crisis continues, and a tough time too for local authorities and public bodies as demands increase and resources decline.

“In the face of these challenges, we’re proud to award Cambridge City Council as part of the PawPrints Awards for implementing and promoting schemes and policies that protect and promote animal welfare, and support pet owners - now more important than ever. 

“Staff do so much great work behind the scenes. Too often, their dedication, commitment, and inspirational work go unsung and don’t get the credit they deserve. 

“PawPrints is all about shouting from the rooftops; recognising individuals and teams and celebrating and promoting best practices. We’re delighted to showcase Cambridge City Council and their work to protect and promote animal welfare; going above and beyond for animals and looking past statutory minimums because it’s the right thing to do - for humans and animals.”

For residents that are struggling to feed their pets during the cost of living crisis, please check with food hubs and local foodbanks that may have pet food available. The RSPCA also offer support for pet owners struggling with the cost of living crisis.