Dog warden service retains prestigious RSPCA award

Mixed breed dog to illustrate the council retaining its RSPCA award

Our dog warden service is leading by example in the care of stray dogs after receiving its seventh consecutive Gold award from the RSPCA.

We’re proud to be awarded the Stray Dogs Gold Footprint by the RSPCA, as part of the Community Animal Welfare Footprint 2017 scheme, which was launched in 2008. It rewards and promotes good practice in animal welfare by local authorities in England and Wales. It also recognises organisations that have gone above and beyond their basic service requirements to ensure higher animal welfare standards, and those that demonstrate the importance of information and education – by actively promoting schemes and services, such as micro chipping.

Cllr Janice Marshall, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Sustainability and Regulatory Services, said: "I'm delighted that we have been so successful in achieving this award and congratulate everyone involved in attaining it. Our Dog Warden Service has always been committed to animal welfare and we are extremely proud that this has been recognised by the RSPCA every year for the last seven years. Our procedures ensure that animal welfare is a priority in every situation we come across, whether it is a dog straying, working with dog owners or an animal business we're dealing with."

The criteria set for entry at Gold level includes a procedure to treat sick and injured stray dogs efficiently and humanly. It also requires facilities and protocols that ensure the five welfare needs are met in relation to the Animal Welfare Act (see below).

Our Dog Warden, Sarah Lewis, said: "The Footprints are the only awards that recognise the hard work of local authorities, social housing providers and public sector bodies in relation to animal welfare, so it is great that our service has been recognised again, and rewarded for the hard work that we do to improve the welfare of our stray dogs."

More information about our Dog Warden Service can be found on our lost and stray dogs page.

You can report a stray, lost or missing dog, by calling 01442 228418 (8.45am to 5pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8.45am to 4.30pm on Fridays).

Outside of these hours, please contact Appledown Kennels, Harling Road, Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire, LU6 1QY. Call 01525 220383


1. The five minimum welfare requirements are:
  • Need for a suitable environment
  • Need for a suitable diet
  • Need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • Need to be housed, with or apart from other animals
  • Need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease 

2. The Community Animal Welfare Footprint (CAWF) scheme covers four areas of service provided by the public sector that has some impact on animal welfare. Each Footprint has three levels – bronze, silver and gold – which carry progressively more demanding criteria. Successful entrants receive a CAWF gold, silver or bronze logo to use on their organisation's website and letterheads, subject to terms of usage, as well as a certificate.