A HOUSING association is top dog after being awarded a prestigious gold standard for its pet policy.
Housing Hartlepool entered the RSPCA Community Animal Welfare Footprint Awards (CAWF) for the first time this year and gained top accreditation.
The housing provider has been hard at work updating and improving its pets policy and all new tenants are now required to have their dogs chipped.
The idea is to build up a database of pets to help tackle lost and stray dogs.
They have also held art competitions where youngsters were asked to illustrate how people should best care for pets.
Their work was recognised in the CAWF awards, which are a seal of approval for local authorities and housing providers.
Helen Ivison, Housing Hartlepool’s housing manager, said: “It is a great honour to have this prestigious endorsement for our new pets policy from the leading animal welfare charity.
“To be awarded gold the first time of entering is an outstanding achievement as usually organisations have to progress through bronze and silver ratings before gaining the top accreditation.”
Jeremy Adams, lead officer for animal health and welfare for the Trading Standards Institute, who is a member of the CAWF judging panel, said: “The entries this year were of a very high standard.
“I was very impressed with innovation used by the entrants in addressing and putting into practice new ways of improving the welfare of animals.”
Housing Hartlepool worked in partnership with the Dogs’ Trust and Hartlepool Borough Council to arrange dog-chipping sessions across the town.