A few weeks ago the CSW Resilience Team was awarded a 2017 Community Animal Welfare Footprint Gold award in Contingency Planning by the RSPCA but what does that mean, how did we achieve it and what happens now we’ve achieved Gold?
The RSPCA have 6 award categories; the Innovator, Stray Dogs Footprint, Housing Footprint, Animal Activity Licensing Footprint, Special Recognition Award, and of course the Contingency Planning award. All the categories were designed by the RSPCA to promote and encourage business and organisations to do their part for animal companions living in their respective areas. So, what is the Contingency Planning footprint and why did the CSW Resilience Team choose to apply? The RSPCA work alongside emergency services and local authorities to assist in the rescuing of pets in communities that are hit by emergencies such as flooding or fires, and both CSW and the RSPCA recognise that many people will not leave their homes if the safety of their animal companions has not been assured. Although human welfare will continue to remain the priority during an emergency, we acknowledge that there needs to be considerations for people’s animals and although awareness of preparedness regarding animals in emergencies has progressed significantly, CSW wanted to develop a project that would continue to raise awareness on a local level with products and information that would be easily accessible to communities across the sub regional area.
To achieve this we designed the Prepared Pets project which revolved around contingency planning for animal companions (check out our Prepared Pet page here). This project involved partnering with animal welfare organisations such as PDSA, the Blue Cross and Just for Pets. We were able to carry out surveys in the community and as a result the project and survey results led to the development and production of a Pet Alert Sticker alongside an information leaflet, both are available in PDSA, Blue Cross and Just for Pets stores across the sub-region (a full list of locations can be found here). It was the successful roll out of the project that helped us to secure the Gold Award in Contingency Planning.
Although we have won gold you can rest assure that we won’t leave the Prepared Pets project to swim with the fishes, oh no! We are continuing to develop our partnerships with other animal organisations and hope to use these partnerships to make our Pet Alert stickers and leaflets increasingly accessibly to you all in the community across Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull.
The complete list of RSPCA Community Animal Welfare Award winners can be viewed here
Written by Heleena Chauhan