NCDL's highest award, the Phyllis Mayer Argus Award, has been
presented to Paul Robertson, Principal EHO at Middlesbrough
The award ceremony took place in the Terrace Room at the House of Commons. Paul has been recognised by the NCDL for the outstanding achievement of not only dramatically reducing the number of stray dogs in his region, but also cutting the number of healthy stray dogs that are put to sleep under the Environmental Protection Act.
Since starting at Middlesbrough Council over four years ago, Paul has worked very closely with the NCDL, the UK's largest dog welfare charity. Paul has wholeheartedly embraced the subsidised microchipping and neutering schemes offered by the charity, as well as promoting youth education in schools. The huge difference Paul's efforts have made to dog welfare are best illustrated by the council's stray figures.
Since starting the partnership with the NCDL, over the past four years Middlesbrough has achieved:
A 56% reduction in the number of dogs being put to sleep
A 50% reduction in the number of stray dogs handled
A 43% reduction in the number of dogs taken to the kennels
A 33% reduction in complaints about strays
A 25% reduction in complaints about dog fouling
Perhaps Paul's greatest achievement came in February this year, when for the first time ever not one single stray dog was put to sleep in Middlesbrough during the space of a month.
Clarissa Baldwin, the NCDL's Chief Executive, presented the Argus Award. She comments:
"No one deserves this award more than Mr Robertson, for his dogged determination to solve the stray problem. Thousands of dogs' lives have been saved thanks to this man." Paul Robertson comments: "I was absolutely delighted and amazed to be given the award.
"When my name was read out by the NCDL's chairman my jaw dropped - it's such a great honour. I wholeheartedly believe in what the NCDL is trying to achieve - the day when no healthy dog is destroyed - and I urge all environmental health departments to take up the scheme. Not only has it helped save dogs, it has also saved the council thousands of pounds."