We are proud to have been awarded a Gold Housing Footprint in the RSPCA's 2019 Community Animal Welfare PawPrints awards.
Since 2008, the RSPCA PawPrints awards (formerly Community Animal Welfare Footprints) has been the only award scheme across England and Wales to recognise good practice from local authorities and housing providers in relation to animal welfare.
The scheme celebrates good practice by rewarding organisations exceeding basic and statutory service requirements with the aim of achieving higher animal welfare standards. Each Footprint has three levels – bronze, silver and gold – each level carrying progressively more demanding criteria.
This year, we have been awarded our seventh award for our continued work in our homes and communities. Through the monthly Love Your Dog Roadshows, pet policies, and partnership working with our tenancy services officers and local organisations, we can ensure the health and well-being of dogs in our properties are of a good standard.
The popular Love Your Dog Roadshows began 2016, and we found as a result, the number of complaints about animal nuisance reduced. As well as plenty of advice on health, well-being and behaviour, there are freebies available and while the focus will be on dog health and well-being, we are happy to talk to tenants about other more general issues.
We also reviewed our pets policy this year - cats and dogs are now allowed in most West Kent homes - so more residents than ever can enjoy the benefits of pet ownership.
Mandie Stallard, West Kent's Community Safety Officer said: "Each year we have met the criteria for the highest level of the award. Through our partnership with Sevenoaks District Council's Animal Welfare Officer and other animal welfare organisations we have been able to make a real impact in our communities and promote responsible pet ownership."
The awards are supported by the Local Government Association, along with the Trading Standards Institure and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. More details are available at www.politicalanimal.org.uk/cawfhome
2 September 2019