BASINGSTOKE and Deane Borough Council’s dog warden has achieved gold for the fourth year running.

Laura Yeates has been awarded the RSPCA’s Gold Stray Dog Footprint Award for her work with stray animals across the borough.

Having held the position for 17 years, Laura estimates she has helped more than 3,500 dogs across the 250 square miles of the borough.

The award recognises the hard work and dedication Laura puts in to re-homing stray dogs or reuniting them with their owners.

Working with the environmental health team and community safety patrol officers, Laura will never put a dog down unless on veterinary advice, and even walks the dogs every day to ensure the rehoming centre can be confident in the animal’s temperament.

Laura said: “It is a real honour to receive this accolade from the RSPCA again.

“My work as the council’s dog warden is very satisfying and keeps me busy dealing with strays in the borough.”

In her role Laura is also concerned with educating dog owners on how to properly care for their pets.

In April 2016, it became compulsory for owners to microchip their dogs and ensure that they wear a collar and ID so they can be reunited if the animal escapes.

Owners of dogs that are over the age of eight weeks that are not microchipped risk prosecution and a fine of £500.

Cabinet member for regulatory services and the environment at the borough council, Cllr Hayley Eachus, said: “I would appeal to all dog owners in the borough to ensure that their pets are kept safe, are tagged an microchipped, which means you can be reunited as quickly as possible if they go astray."

Laura will collect her award at the 10th annual RSPCA PawPrints Awards and attend a special reception in London.

For more information on how to ensure your pet doesn’t end up a stray, go to: