Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) has received the RSPCA’s highest award for its work on animal welfare.

For the seventh year running, TVBC has been awarded a Gold PawPrints award, which recognises the authority’s work in ensuring the highest quality of animal welfare around the borough.

This includes work across kennels, animal licensing and animal breeders for all animals who call Test Valley their home.

This latest award comes in addition to a special Platinum Stray Dogs Footprint awarded last year to celebrate the award’s tenth anniversary.

Animal welfare officer at Test Valley Borough Council, Rod Mason, said: “This has been a very difficult year, but work to ensure the animals in Test Valley have the highest quality care and welfare has not stopped. We all have a duty to ensure we give our animals the best quality of life and I’m very pleased that the RSPCA has again recognised our efforts.

“New challenges have presented themselves during the pandemic as many people look for a new companion. We’ll continue to work hard in managing this and would of course encourage people to do their research and contact us if they’re in any doubt!”

Housing and environmental portfolio holder, councillor Phil Bundy, said: “It’s really important for us to keep up our efforts in ensuring quality welfare for the animals of Test Valley. It’s wonderful to know that the RSPCA has taken note of how much work goes into looking after the welfare of our animals, and I know that Rod is doing a fantastic job.

“I’m sure next year, we’ll be doing all we can to make sure we’re celebrating another year.”