Chelmsford City Council have been awarded the RSPCA's Pawprints award

Chelmsford City Council has been awarded the RSPCA Stray Dog Services PawPrints Award (Gold) for the second year in a row. The council was recognised for its efforts in protecting the welfare of dogs, delivering effective stray dog services, and promoting responsible pet ownership.

Dog wardens Jamie, Ola and Chris

PawPrints recognises public-sector organisations for their efforts to protect and promote animal welfare. Over the past fifteen years, the scheme has recognised organisations and individuals for their dedication and commitment to promoting respect, compassion, and kindness towards animals.

Stray dog services recognised by award

The council’s stray dog services were highlighted by Lee Gingell of the RSPCA:

“The PawPrints awards scheme is crucial in recognising and appreciating the incredible work that staff do for animals. It aims to inspire others to value animal welfare services and recognise the achievements of staff delivering for animals, their welfare, their owners, and the wider public. 

“Chelmsford City Council received the award for their incredible efforts to deliver some of the best stray dog services. This includes regular dog handling, welfare and behavioural training for staff, excellent policies and procedures to ensure dogs are cared for and responsibly rehomed, and provisions to effectively enforce microchipping legislation. 

“The PawPrints scheme provides local authorities and staff with the confidence to know they’re doing their best by animals and receive recognition from the RSPCA for delivering excellent animal welfare services. Thank you to the staff at Chelmsford City Council for their inspirational work for animals.”

Lee Gingell, RSPCA

The PawPrints Award celebrates the work of the council’s Dog Wardens, who secure lost and stray dogs, and help to reunite them with their owners or rehome them if necessary.

If you find a lost or stray dog, please call 01245 606606 to alert the team. Between 8.45am and 4.00pm, dog wardens will collect the dog once alerted. Out-of-hours, dogs should be taken to the Civic Centre where they will be cared for.

Promoting responsible dog ownership

Since April 2023, the council has secured 35 stray dogs. At least half of those dogs either didn’t have a microchip or the details on their chip were inaccurate (linking to breeders, previous owners, or old addresses).

Microchipping dogs is a legal requirement and the absolute best way to ensure you don’t lose your furry friends! Dogs can be microchipped free of charge at the Civic Centre. Alternatively, dog wardens offer home visits for a fee of £10. If you require this service, please contact the team online (select ‘other environmental enquiry’).

Dog ownership comes with a lot of responsibility, but is very rewarding. Pictured: A woman snuggles with her dog.

Councillor Rose Moore says microchipping is just one of the responsibilities dog owners hold:

“We are a nation of dog lovers and having a dog as a pet is immensely rewarding. But it is also a big responsibility, and it’s important to be aware of those responsibilities before bringing a dog into your home. Dogs need a lot of care and there are legal requirements that will fall to you as a dog owner, such as microchipping them and cleaning up after them when out for walks.

“As dog owners, we have a responsibility to those around us to ensure that our dogs are under control, on a lead when they should be, and don’t pose a threat to anyone’s safety. We also have a responsibility to our pets to care for them as they deserve. The RSPCA are fantastic advocates for dogs’ welfare and being recognised by them for promoting responsible pet ownership is something to be proud of. Congratulations to the Community Protection team for receiving the PawPrints Award.”

Councillor Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for a Greener and Safer Chelmsford

If you are considering dog ownership, please visit the official RSPCA website for advice and guidance.

Protecting the welfare of Chelmsford’s canine residents

All Chelmsford City Council Community Protection officers are qualified dog wardens. They are trained dog handlers and receive regular training to understand dog behaviours and threats to dog welfare.

It falls to our dog wardens to ensure the council’s policies and procedures to protect the welfare of dogs are upheld. Stray dogs secured by dog wardens are cared for and, if they are not claimed by their owners, responsibly rehomed. The team work closely with local vets and with charity kennels to protect dogs who are lost or abandoned by their owners.

A nation of dog lovers. Pictured: A short haired lab look at the camera

More information on responsible dog ownership

There is a wealth of information about responsible dog ownership online. Check out our resources page for recommendations.

If you have lost your dog, you can report them missing and check the stray dog register to see if they have already been found here.

If you find a stray dog, please contact our dog wardens online or call 01245 606606.

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