A LOCAL authority has received the RSPCA's highest award for its dedication to animal welfare.

For the seventh year running, Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) been awarded a Gold PawPrints award, which celebrates the authority’s work in ensuring the highest quality of animal welfare around the borough.

This includes their work with kennels, licensing, breeders and other animals who call Test Valley their home.

This comes after the council was presented with a special Platinum Stray Dogs Footprint to mark the awards’ tenth anniversary.

Animal welfare officer at TVBC, 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, Cllr 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."