Dogs that go missing in London can woof a sigh of relief, as Westminster once again leads the pack in helping strays find their homes.
The council has won, for the 4th consecutive year, the 2016 Gold Stray Dog Footprint award, from the RSPCA rewarding professionalism and excellence in animal welfare.
Photo: Sivi, who was found by Westminster dog wardens.
The prestigious award is the only one that recognises the work of councils, celebrating those that provide a good customer service with the aim of achieving higher animal welfare standards.
Cllr Jacqui Wilkinson, Westminster City Council's Animal Welfare Champion, said: "The awards are well-deserved. I am delighted that the work of our dedicated animal wardens has been recognised by the RSPCA.
“Westminster City Council is committed to promoting responsible pet ownership and works closely with local and national animal charities. We are currently arranging free microchipping events which I know will prove popular with our residents. It’s all a part of our efforts to create a greener and safer city for all.”
One of the dogs they helped was Sivi, a Mauritian street dog who escaped from her owner just days after arriving for the first time in London from the much quieter Mauritius.
The owner made frantic phone calls to the council for help, and spent hours searching with dog wardens for Sivi in a local housing development, but didn’t have much luck. Sivi was eventually found more than a mile away, and returned to her owner.
Sivi’s owner Abigail said: “To find Sivi safe and unhurt was nothing short of a miracle.’’
Animal wardens regularly deal with stray or lost dogs, complaints about other people's dogs, barking, fouling and other nuisances in Westminster.