Stray dog service receives national award

Hackney Council's Animal Welfare Team have picked up a Silver Footprint Award from the RSPCA for their work with stray dogs.

The national scheme recognizes local authorities who have clear procedures in place to ensure animal welfare and provide a good service to the public.

Extra consideration is also given to authorities who run education schemes to reduce the number of long term strays such as Hackney's microchipping scheme, run in conjunction with charity Dogs Trust.

Hackney Council currently offfers free microchipping for dog owners at its animal welfare depot as well as at Dogs Trust events in the borough.

This is the second time Hackney Council's Animal Welfare Service has entered the RSPCA scheme, with the service picking up a bronze award in 2011.

Cllr Sophie Linden, Cabinet Member for Crime, Sustainability and Customer Services, said: "It is good to receive this recognition from the RSPCA for a valuable service which is continually improving.

"There can be a number of different reasons why pets become strays and it is important for us that we have procedures in place to care for strays and to help reduce the numbers in the borough."

Each year almost 15,000 stray dogs are reported in London, with just over a third of those reunited with their owners. Last year, microchipped dogs accounted for 47% of all dogs reunited with their owners.

Free microchipping sessions run every Wednesday morning and must be booked in advance by calling 020 8356 6688.