Undercover boss goes out on animal welfare patrol

East Hampshire District Councils executive assistant Heather Sharman with chief executive Sandy Hopkins and Neil Thompson-Burton, a senior animal welfare officer
East Hampshire District Councils executive assistant Heather Sharman with chief executive Sandy Hopkins and Neil Thompson-Burton, a senior animal welfare officer
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THE chief executive of a district council found out first hand what life is like as an animal welfare officer.

Sandy Hopkins joined officers from East Hampshire District Council on patrol.

Her day included everything from a tour of the district to discussing all the procedures in place to look after the welfare of animals in the Horndean, Rowlands Castle and Petersfield areas.

Ms Hopkins was informed about stray dogs and work being done to evolve the stray dog register into a digital resource.

EHDC’s animal welfare officers work in partnership with the police in helping with difficult dog owners and ensuring the safety of both the public and the animals.

Earlier in the year the team was nationally recognised at the RSPCA Community Animal Welfare Footprint (CAWF) 2016 awards, where it won double gold awards, as well as a bronze award.

The team is one of only three nationwide to have received this many awards at the RSPCA CAWF 2016 awards.

Ms Hopkins said: ‘As a council we are very proud of the work and successes of this team, so it was a great opportunity for me to see its work close-up.

‘It was impressive to see and hear all about what the team has planned over the next year and experience the enthusiasm and tenacity with which it delivers this service. The span of work is so varied and involves the welfare of such a wide number of different animals across this part of Hampshire.’

Councillor Ingrid Thomas, the welfare portfolioholder, said: ‘The team is so helpful and passionate about the work it does that it is hard not to be inspired.

‘This year has been incredibly successful for the team and it has done extensive work across the district to ensure we are providing and expecting high standards of animal welfare.’

On January 18 the animal welfare team will be hosting a seminar designed to broaden attendees’ understanding of animal welfare, as well as learning and sharing good practice and knowledge from other local authorities and industry experts.