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RSPCA awards ODS dog warden service for animal welfare excellence

ODS, Oxford City Council’s wholly owned company, has achieved the award for going above and beyond to deliver excellent services that protect and promote the welfare of stray dogs and responsible ownership.

The RSPCA PawPrints is the only award scheme of its kind in England and Wales and is a unique opportunity for public-sector bodies and organisations to be celebrated for their work.

Councillor Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focused Services and Council Companies said: “The ODS dog warden, working in partnership with the City Council, does a fine job when it comes to looking after the welfare of stray dogs and helping to find lost ones. The dedication of our staff has now been recognised by the UK’s premier animal welfare organisation, the RSPCA, and deservedly so. My congratulations to all those involved in receiving this award.” 

Ady Higgs, ODS Dog Warden, said: “I feel privileged to be able to help and support the dogs and owners of Oxford. The sense of joy I feel when I see the reaction of both the dog and their family when they are reunited makes me smile for the rest of the day.

“We try to go above and beyond when it comes to helping pet owners and protecting the welfare of stray dogs in Oxford and I’m really proud that our dedication has been recognised nationally in this way!”

Lee Gingell, RSPCA Public Affairs Manager for Local Government, said: “Despite the challenging situation for all local authorities and public bodies across the country, we’re thrilled to see Oxford City Council pick up the RSPCA’s Stray Dog Services (Bronze) PawPrints Award. 

“PawPrints is all about shouting from the rooftops; recognising individuals and teams, and celebrating and promoting best practice. We’re delighted to showcase Oxford City Council and their work to protect and promote animal welfare; going above and beyond for animals and looking way past statutory minimums because it’s the right thing to do - for humans and animals.”

The criteria for this award included handling, welfare, and behavioural training for staff, procedures to ensure sick and injured strays are cared for, enforcing microchipping legislation and promoting responsible ownership, a provision of a reception/staffed out-of-hours service, clear and accurate record management, and a rehoming policy that protects the welfare of animals.  

ODS Dog Warden Ady Higgs is pictured with lurcher crossbreed dog, Bailey, at RSPCA Blackberry Farm Animal Centre. Bailey is one of the animals at Blackberry Farm Animal Centre that are looking for their forever homes. Details of all these animals are available on the RSPCA Blackberry Farm website.

For more information on the City Council’s dog warden service visit the Dogs page on the Council’s website.

For more information on the PawPrints Awards visit the RSPCA website.