Leeds Labour Council has won three of the RSPCA’s Community Animal Welfare Footprint awards.
First the Council won Gold in the Housing category, and its Dog Warden service and Resilience and Emergencies Team won bronze in the Contingency category.
And it’s now been announced that Housing Leeds has also won one of the prestigious Innovator Awards – for their Pet Champions’ scheme.
This innovative scheme keeps thousands of the city’s animals safe.
The award is the most prestigious prize given by the RSPCA under the CAWF scheme and Housing Leeds is the only organisation to receive it this year across England and Wales.
Pet Champions are located in every council housing office. They work closely with partner animal welfare organisations to respond to animal welfare issues across the city’s 57,000 council homes.
Their day-to-day work can include anything from encouraging tenants to take up low cost pet neutering, supporting tenants who are hoarding animals, responding to reports of animal welfare issues and working with animal welfare organisations to secure convictions for neglect.
Animal welfare officers can also link in with other support services, including those tackling dog fouling and waste as well as complex issues like safeguarding, social isolation and domestic violence.
Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member for communities, was delighted:
“Housing Leeds has received the prestigious RSPCA Innovator Award in recognition of our commitment to promote responsible animal ownership in our council homes through building strong relationships with our partners”
“Housing Leeds has demonstrated a keen focus on transforming welfare outcomes. Our hope is that this inventive scheme will inspire other landlords to further creative partnership opportunities in a very challenging sector of public service.
“Members of Leeds Pet Champions scheme are now hoping they may be able to work with other councils in future to share best practice.”
As Councillor Coupar stressed – the Labour Council’s ambition is to be the Best City in the UK.
This award is a significant contribution to that.
It’s also testimony to Leeds Labour’s commitment to achieve more with existing resources at a time of exceptionally tight Local Government finance.
Our congratulations to all who are involved here.
Leeds is a great place to be – and not just for its two-footed citizens.