THE team that runs animal welfare for East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) and Havant Borough Council has scooped three gold medals from the RSPCA.

The two councils now share an animal welfare team and the new set-up has yielded instant success.

As part of a national standard for animal welfare, the team of Neil Thompson-Burton, Jazmine Green and Gillian Gower secured the three honours.

They were rewarded for their care of stray dogs, contingency planning, and for their regulation of animal boarding businesses around the district.

The team’s work had been assessed as part of the RSPCA Community Animal Welfare PawPrint Awards, a nationwide scheme.

As EHDC portfolio for neighbourhood services, Ingrid Thomas said of the awards: “This is the first year our animal welfare team has been working across two councils, so we are thrilled they have achieved so much success.

“It’s an incredible achievement to win three golds in these vital areas of animal welfare work and it just demonstrates the great job the team is doing across both areas.”

Narinda Bains, Havant Borough Council’s Cabinet lead for neighbourhoods, safety and enforcement, added: “I am delighted that the hard work and excellent standards of the team have been recognised by the RSPCA. It is an outstanding achievement.”

The animal welfare team was awarded gold for its stray dog service, which it runs in partnership with Portsmouth City Council Stray Dog Kennels, which can safely look after strays, and which was commended for its efficiency and care.

The team was also rewarded with gold for its contingency planning, with strong plans for looking after animals that may be displaced in the event of an emergency, such as flooding.

While the third gold was won for enforcing strict regulations on animal boarding establishments, which include kennels, stables, catteries, pet shops, and even bird zoos. Regular visits ensure the highest standards of animal welfare are maintained.