Council's stray dogs service achieves gold standard again
18 October 2017Cheshire West and Chester Council has scored top marks when it comes to animal welfare for the sixth year in a row.
The Council scooped an RSPCA Gold Community Animal Welfare Footprint (CAWF) Award for going above and beyond basic legal requirements in the way it handles stray dogs. The Awards promote and reward good practice by local authorities in certain fields of animal welfare.
The national animal charity has once again recognised the hard work and dedication of Regulatory Services staff involved in the collection and re-homing of stray dogs and the fact that the service has clear procedures and education programmes in place. Part of this involves awareness-raising, including the Council’s approach to dealing with anti-social behaviour such as failing to clean up after your dog.
The most common breed collected by the dog wardens is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier with 70 of the 394 stray dogs collected in 2016/17 being a “staffy” or “staffy” cross breed. Of the 70 cross breeds of staffy type dogs collected, 29 (41%) had to be rehomed as they were not collected by their owner. Overall 33% of the stray dogs collected in 2016/17 had to be rehomed as their owners never came forward.
During office hours, any dogs collected in Cheshire West and Chester are scanned immediately for the presence of a microchip and, if possible, returned without charge to their owner. If there is no microchip, the collar information will be used. If return is not possible at this time, the dog is taken to the kennels. Outside of office hours, dogs are taken immediately to the kennels and are scanned on arrival.
In 2016/17, 131 dogs were returned to their owners without charge because their owners could be identified and contacted by the warden. Many more may have been returned without the intervention of the dog warden as finders are able to identify the owner by the collar information.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore said: “It is a real achievement to secure this award for the sixth year running.
“The dog warden team continues to do a marvellous job and have, yet again, been recognised for this by the RSPCA award. We continue to work to reunite as many dogs as possible with their owners and it is saddening that so many fail to be collected.
“Dog owners can really help our Regulatory Services team by ensuring that their pets are kept safe, are tagged and micro-chipped and by picking up after them. By getting your dog tagged and micro-chipped it means you can be reunited as quickly as possible if they go astray.”
From April 2016 it became a legal requirement for all dogs in England to be micro-chipped. As well as being microchipped, it is also still a legal requirement for a dog in a public place to wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on it, or engraved on a tag.
If you need to report a stray dog the following telephone numbers can be used:
RSPCA Gold Award - Dominic with four-legged friends