Tara Boswell, the council’s dog warden, has won the RSPCA’s PawPrint gold award for a fourth successive year.
Boswell has worked for the council for 13 years and helps on average 150 dogs each year. She finds rescue spaces, foster and forever homes for the stray dogs Croydon collects, and has developed a network of contacts including kennels and a vet, which means stray and sick animals receive the best possible care.
Throughout spring and summer, Boswell staged events in local parks, engaging residents to better care for their pets, as well as offering free microchipping and professional advice.
Last year Boswell was one of only four in the country to receive the highest possible recognition from the RSPCA – a special accolade for her work helping rescue dogs during the pandemic.
Introduced by the RSPCA in 2008, the programme sets high standards for animal welfare, with recipients needing to meet criteria way above the minimum legal requirement for a local authority.
“I really value the work I do with stray dogs, and it’s such an honour to be recognised four years in a row,” Boswell said.
“There has been an increase in strays in Croydon since we’ve emerged from the pandemic. We have also noticed more pregnant dogs coming in, as the demand for puppies has gone down following the lockdown boom.
“If you’re struggling financially to care for your dog, there are charities you can access to get support. Releasing a dog as a stray is never the answer. Surrender your dog to a reputable rescue, please do not give it away online.”
Support available for dog owners who might be struggling financially due to the cost of living crisis include a vet care scheme via the RSPCA, and behavioural advice from local experts at the council’s dog events.
For free microchipping, email email@example.com
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