Cornwall Council has been commended by the RSPCA for its ‘unwavering commitment to animal welfare’.
Its stray dog service, which looks after lost and abandoned pets, has received a Gold Standard PawPrints award for the 13th year on the trot.
This means it continues to be recognised by the national charity as Platinum standard, awarded to all organisations that are rated gold for five consecutive years.
Cllr Martyn Alvey, portfolio holder for Environment and Climate Change at Cornwall Council, said:
“Huge congratulations once again to the team on continuing to provide such an excellent service to our four-legged friends.
“To hit such a high standard is one thing but to do it consistently for 13 years is an incredible achievement and something we should be shouting about from the wooftops! Well done!”
Between September 2022 and September 2023, the council received 483 reports of dogs that had been found without an owner. This compares to 417 the previous year.
Kevin Brader, Environmental Protection Manager at the council, said:
“Thankfully, the majority of these pets are quickly reunited with their owners but it can be really hard to trace people, especially if we don’t have up to date contact details.”
By law, owners must ensure their pet’s microchip details and the contact details on the pet’s ID tag are correct. The tag should include the owner’s name, address and postcode. It is recommended that a telephone number is also added.
If the information on the microchip and tag are correct, people are more likely to be reunited with their pet and avoid any charges.
Kevin added: “If we do have to pick up a dog, they are checked over including for microchips and placed in boarding kennels until the owner can be found. We do what we can to make them comfortable and feel safe. Any unwell or injured dogs receive appropriate veterinary attention.
“If we’re unable to trace the owner and no one comes forward within the statutory seven days then they become the property of the council. They will then be found a loving new home through our rehoming partners. We never put a healthy dog to sleep.”
Between September 2022 and September 2023, 46 dogs collected by dog wardens were found new homes after no one came forward to claim them. There were 40 the previous year.
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 Cornwall Council pick up the RSPCA’s Stray Dog Services (Platinum) PawPrints Award.
“Platinum PawPrints have been awarded to organisations that have achieved gold-level for five or more years consecutively, which demonstrates Cornwall Council's unwavering commitment to animal welfare.”
He added: “It’s a tough time for pet owners as the cost-of-living crisis continues, 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 Cornwall 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.”
To report a lost or found dog call 0300 1234 212.
Press release issued on September 20, 2023.