RSPCA Cymru is pleased to announce the launch of the Community Animal Welfare Footprint (CAWF) awards scheme for 2015.

Established in 2008, CAWF is the only award scheme in England and Wales that recognises the commitment and achievement of Local Authorities, contingency planners and housing providers in improving and delivering animal welfare.

There are four award categories – stray dog provision, contingency planning, housing provision and animal welfare principles; with bronze, silver and gold standards for each.

Additionally, there are also special RSPCA Innovator awards, rewarding pioneering and imaginative steps taken to improve animal welfare.

In Wales, the scheme has the support and recognition of the Minister for Public Services, Leighton Andrews AM, the backing of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), along with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Trading Standards Institute.

logo stacked swallow bgRSPCA Cymru’s public affairs manager, Chris O’Brien said: “In these difficult economic times, it is vital we celebrate the strong commitment to animal welfare which exists across Wales. That is what the footprint awards are all about, and we are exceptionally grateful to the Welsh Government and WLGA for their support.

“Local Authorities, housing providers and contingency planners have a huge role to play in the delivery of animal welfare. RSPCA Cymru hopes the scheme continues to showcase much of the excellent work being undertaken across Wales.”

Minister for Public Services, Leighton Andrews AM, who said: “I am pleased to support the RSPCA Cymru’s Community Animal Welfare Footprints Awards. Celebrating success in the public service sector actively promotes higher service delivery standards and provides models of good practice.

“Public services partnerships who participate in this scheme gain recognition of their work and commitment to animal welfare, which is a priority for the Welsh Government. The RSPCA awards compliment this commitment by recognising innovative service providers who attain excellent results.

“As in previous years, I hope 2015 showcases best practice in Wales and the drive for continuous improvement in service provision.”

Councillor Neil Moore, WLGA Spokesperson for Regulatory and Frontline Services said: “Local Authorities do so much important work to help ensure the welfare of Wales’ animals. RSPCA Cymru’s Community Animal Welfare Footprints offer much-deserved acknowledgement to many councils determined to go the extra mile.

“The WLGA encourages Local Authorities to engage with RSPCA Cymru’s scheme to ensure their service provision – whether in stray dogs, housing, contingency planning or elsewhere – gets the recognition it deserves.”

Last year 10 organisations received awards, including Newport City Council, Cardiff Dogs Home and Denbighshire County Council who were awarded with a gold standard in the stray dog provision category. This is the highest number Wales has ever seen.

Other winners included Pembrokeshire County Council, which received a silver standard for stray dogs provision, and Wrexham County Borough Council and Isle of Anglesey County Council also received bronze in the same category. Cardiff Council and Monmouthshire County Council received bronze awards for contingency planning. Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association was granted a bronze in the housing provision category along with Merthyr Valley Homes.

The closing date for entries is 26 June. All applications this year can be made online via http://politicalanimal.org.uk/cawf