08 October 2012

An RSPCA awards scheme which recognises pioneering animal welfare practices among local authorities has awarded platinum status to Northamptonshire County Council’s emergency planning team.

Northamptonshire’s emergency planners have been awarded the Platinum Contingency Planning Footprint by the RSCPA as part of their annual National Community Animal Welfare Footprint awards.

The awards, which were first launched in April 2008 by the RSPCA, are given to local authorities for their achievements in animal welfare to recognise the local authorities that have gone above and beyond their basic service requirements to ensure higher animal welfare standards.

Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection, said: "The team was nominated for the Gold Footprint Award based on its work with different animal organisations across the county and the East Midlands region, the establishment of an animal network and the work undertaken in preparation for emergency situations including when an animal and its owner is evacuated from their home.

"In recognition of this being the fifth year running the council has achieved a Gold award, a special Platinum Footprint has been presented and we are the only organisation to have received a Platinum Award for Contingency Planning.

"This is just another part of the work that takes place behind the scenes within emergency planning in Northamptonshire to make sure we are prepared if the worst happens.”

The council also received a runner-up Innovator Award for the In Case of Emergency badge which Brownie and Cub packs in the county can work towards. The badge was launched earlier this year and uses a booklet of activities to help the children and their families are prepared in case of an emergency. The Team received a runner-up Innovator Award for this work.

The work of 109 organisations was showcased this year with 150 nominations received for awards.

The RSPCA CAWF scheme has four categories – animal welfare principles, contingency planning, housing and stray dogs – with either gold, silver or bronze footprints awarded, depending on the level of service provided by the authority or organisation. This is the first year that the platinum footprints have been awarded to those that have consistently achieved gold standard during the scheme’s entire five years.