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Eden Community Wardens receive RSPCA Gold Award

Eden District Council’s Community Wardens Gemma Gardner and Karen Holmes with the RSPCA ‘Gold Footprint’ Award they have received for their work with stray dogs.
Eden District Council’s Community Wardens Gemma Gardner and Karen Holmes with the RSPCA ‘Gold Footprint’ Award they have received for their work with stray dogs.

[E]den District Council’s Community Wardens have received a ‘Gold Footprint’ Award for the sixth year running from the RSPCA for their work with stray dogs.

The award recognises the policies, procedures and proactive work that the Wardens do in the District. From April 2015 to March 2016, 46 dogs were collected as strays. Happily, this figure has decreased from last year (71).

Almost all of the dogs that were collected were not wearing ID tags. Not only is this still the law in England, but most dogs would be returned by the finder if they were wearing a tag with the animal’s name and the owner’s contact details. Some of the stray dogs were micro-chipped, however, a significant proportion of those that were had out of date or incorrect details on the chip. Failing to have your dog microchipped or having incorrect details against a microchip are now offences under the new law, introduced in April 2016.

Places are becoming very limited in rescue centres, with over 81000 stray and abandoned dogs in the UK reportedly handled between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016.

This shocking statistic shows that most local authorities have a difficult job to promote responsible ownership. In Eden, this task is carried out by the District Council’s Community Wardens, who encourage, through education and enforcement, the importance of responsible dog ownership.

Eden Community Warden, Lisa Hartley said: “I see first-hand the result of irresponsible dog ownership. Sadly, although the number of stray dogs we have collected has decreased, too many dogs in Eden are still not claimed. Owners can easily avoid accidents by ensuring that their property is secure and that their dog is wearing a collar and ID tag and is micro-chipped with the details up to date.”

“This is the sixth year we have achieved the top award for the way we deal with stray dogs, but we would much rather dogs didn’t stray. Accidents are always likely to happen on occasion, but it is really important that owners continue to play their part and take the necessary steps to prevent them happening. I would ask all dog owners to ensure that their pets are wearing ID tags and are micro-chipped and, if they lose their dog, please report it immediately to Eden District Council by calling 01768 817817.”

As previously mentioned, new legislation came into force on the 6 April 2016 that requires all dogs, including working dogs, to be micro-chipped in England. A free micro-chipping session with The Dogs Trust is being held in Penrith on:

  • Wednesday 19 October from 11am-3pm at the Evergreen Hall, Bluebell Lane, Penrith.

All dogs attending must wear a collar and a lead and have a handler present who is aged 18 years or over. All puppies (up to the age of six months old) should be fully vaccinated and must be carried. The Dogs Trust reserves the right to ask for proof of vaccination. Proof of address will also be required. Please would all dog owners be prepared to wait their turn; your patience is appreciated.

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