ANIMAL welfare officers in Northumberland have been given the gold stamp of approval by the RSPCA for their work with stray dogs.

Northumberland County Council’s Animal Welfare Team has received a Gold Footprint Award, which recognise and celebrate public service organisations that go above and beyond to ensure high animal welfare standards in their communities.

The team was recognised for its regular proactive work to educate owners about responsible pet ownership, preventative measures to reduce straying such as providing an out-of-hours service and offering a micro-chipping service.

In 2018/19 the team dealt with 672 stray dog cases, either returning the dogs to their owners or taking them to a place of safety.

Northumberland County Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services said: “The team work very hard and I am delighted that the RSPCA has recognised their commitment to animal welfare at a national level.

“This is the ninth year the team has achieved the top award, demonstrating a consistently high standard of service.”