My close-up view of a dog warden’s day

Coun Anthony Casson with dog warden Rachel Thompson
Coun Anthony Casson with dog warden Rachel Thompson
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CABINET CALL: By Coun Anthony Casson of South Holland District Council

Since my portfolio responsibilities changed last year I’ve been busy getting to know the Public Protection services which are part of my new role.

One element of that service is our Dog Warden Rachel Thompson and I thought it would be a good idea to shadow her for a day to learn more about the work she does.

Rachel is responsible for lost and stray dogs across South Holland and works to reunite pets with their owners.

Her dedicated work has previously been recognised with the prestigious Footprint award from the RSPCA.

She also set up the South Holland District Council Dog Warden Facebook page which has proved immensely popular, often being seen by over 10,000 people, thanks to the huge number of likes and shares that her posts get.

The Facebook page has helped Rachel reunite dozens of dogs and given her access to a lot of helpful information.

In the past six months Rachel has found 107 dogs in the district and received 44 reports of lost dogs.

If a dog is not claimed, providing it is well and not aggressive, she will contact rescues to see if they can help.

Another big part of her role is dealing with dog fouling and since June 2016 there have been 28 reports of this.

The process involves gathering evidence from anyone who has seen the offender and trying to locate where they live. So we would appreciate help in this area.

If necessary she will put up dog fouling signs, but she also tries to engage with dog walkers and be a visible deterrent as much as possible.

As you may be aware, hare coursing is becoming a particular problem locally and this has given rise to a lot more stray dogs.

Rachel will be meeting with the Police Wildlife Officer in the New Year to see what can be done.

Her role isn’t solely focused on dealing with dogs. She also puts rat and mouse bait down in the Ayscoughfee bird aviary and along the river in town between Little London and the twin bridges.

My day out with Rachel gave me an interesting insight into her job. She provides an invaluable service and is completely committed to the cause.