PawPrints: celebrating local authorities for going above and beyond

Working together to raise animal welfare standards and share best practice

Local authorities are at the forefront of animal welfare in England and Wales. They stand with us every single day to protect and promote the welfare of animals. 

Responsible for enforcing a swathe of animal welfare legislation and delivering a plethora of animal welfare services, such as stray dog provisions and licensing of activities involving animals, they are crucial partners in helping us on our mission. 

Many are doing amazing work – often in the face of steep challenges – and we’re proud to recognise them through our PawPrints award scheme. 

Since 2008, the PawPrints award scheme has recognised and celebrated local authorities (and other public sector organisations) for going above and beyond statutory responsibilities to deliver world-class animal welfare services. 

The only award scheme of its kind, PawPrints is a unique opportunity for local authorities to be recognised by the RSPCA for their animal welfare services.

It’s an opportunity for local authorities to demonstrate their commitment to protecting and promoting animal welfare in their communities – which benefits us all. It is also an invaluable chance to inspire others to think about their animal welfare services and encourage decision-makers to consider and value the vital role local authorities play in protecting animal welfare. 

With five different categories, the PawPrints gives local authorities the chance to sweep up bronze-, silver-, or gold-level awards for stray dog provisions, licensing of activities involving animals, housing, contingency planning and kennelling. Local authorities can enter to receive more than one award in multiple categories to properly recognise and value the wide variety of animal welfare services they deliver. 

Last year, we handed out over 70 awards to over 50 different public sector organisations, and since 2008, we’ve given nearly 1,500 awards. We’re proud to work together with all those who have entered before. We want more to enter and be in with the chance to receive a prestigious PawPrint.

We know our partnerships with local authorities and other public sector organisations are integral to reclaiming the UK’s place as the global leader in animal welfare. We know there is so much more we can achieve by working together for animal welfare. We can create a world where all animals are respected and treated with kindness and compassion. 

Local authorities and councillors can help us raise standards and share best practice by:

  • Encouraging your local authorities’ licensing, stray dog, contingency planning and housing teams to enter the RSPCA’s PawPrints award scheme. 

  • Promoting PawPrints more widely among your community; helping us reach more public sector organisations to provide information and knowledge to raise animal welfare standards.