Seventeen organisations across Wales have been recognised for going above and beyond for animal welfare.

RSPCA Cymru is delighted to announce that 22 awards – nine of them at gold standard – have been handed out to a range of organisations as part of its prestigious PawPrints scheme. A number of organisations have even scooped more than one award.

PawPrints – formerly known as the Community Animal Welfare Footprints (CAWF) – has been running consecutively since 2008; and is the only awards programme in Wales recognising good practice from public bodies in relation to animal welfare.

Awards are divided into five categories, awarded to bronze, silver or gold standard. They recognise the achievements of public service organisations for their stray dog services, contingency planning, housing policy, animal activity licensing and kennelled dog welfare.

Gold winners include Monmouthshire County Council for contingency planning, Hope Rescue for kennelled dog welfare, while Cardiff Council (Cardiff Dogs Home), Conwy County Borough Council, Denbighshire County Council, Shared Regulatory Services (SRS), Newport City Council and Wrexham County Borough Council scooped the gold award for their stray dog services.

This year Mid-Wales Housing Association have been awarded gold for their housing policy – their first gold after receiving silver in 2019. It is also the first housing gold in Wales.

Jean O’Neill, Interim Director of Customer Services, said: “I am delighted and honoured that Mid-Wales Housing Association have been granted the first gold for the ‘housing award’ in Wales in the RSPCA PawPrint awards.

“The Mid-Wales Housing’s Community Housing Team have worked tirelessly to continue to strike the right balance between the pleasure that animal ownership can bring, against the possible nuisance that irresponsible ownership can cause.

“Mid-Wales Housing was first granted the bronze award two years ago, the silver award last year and it is great to see that we have exceeded this once again by receiving the gold award this year. The award recognises Mid-Wales Housing’s emphasis on good practice, including clearly defined procedures, advice and guidance, with the aim of improving outcomes for both tenants, residents and pets.”

Lewis Clark, RSPCA public affairs adviser, said: “It really is wonderful to recognise these deserving organisations across Wales – who understandably have had a tough few months dealing with unprecedented circumstances.

“We’re delighted to have given out 22 awards to organisations; including for the way they treat stray and kennelled dogs, support animals in social housing and plan for emergencies which could impact animals.

“In particular it is fantastic to see Mid-Wales Housing Association receive gold for their housing policy after previously picking up silver and bronze in the category.

“All across Wales, so many dedicated people are putting in so much effort behind the scenes to improve local animal welfare outcomes – and PawPrints is proud to raise awareness of these achievements.”

The awards are supported by the Welsh Government, the Welsh Local Government Association, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.