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Wiltshire Council welcomes first member to Dog Walker Scheme

Wiltshire Council introduced a new voluntary scheme last year to help dog owners find suitably trained dog walkers and has now welcomed its first successful member to the project.

Published 12 May 2022
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Wiltshire Council introduced a new voluntary scheme last year to help dog owners find suitably trained dog walkers and has now welcomed its first successful member to the project.

Janet Ditte of Playful Paws Dog Walks based in the Chippenham area is the first person to successfully register for the scheme.

The discretionary scheme aims to help people returning to the workplace after the pandemic to find suitably trained and registered dog walkers to help exercise their dogs, whilst they are out at work.

The council team hope to provide a single central point of contact for the public to find responsible dog walkers that have been vetted and have agreed to work to a required standard. All dog walkers in the scheme will be required to have correct insurance, suitable vehicles to transport dogs and adhere to a code of conduct to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of any dogs in their care.

The initiative sits alongside the council's statutory animal licensing functions which cover the dog boarding, dog day-care and dog breeding.

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said, We are delighted to welcome Janet and Playful Paws to our dog walking scheme, and are looking forward to working closely together with her.

During the COVID pandemic, lots of dogs were purchased and welcomed as family members. However, with the current transition of people returning to work settings and normality, it is important to realise the impact that this can have on pets, especially dogs.

Many dogs, even those that have been in families for a number of years, will have been impacted by the sudden change in situation; from having someone in the house for the majority of the time to being left in isolation. Therefore, it is important to recognise their needs and make sure that they get the socialisation, interaction and care that they need - this is where the voluntary dog walker scheme can help provide the required mental stimulation and company.

Janet Ditte of Playful Paws Dog Walks, said: As a small business, I am very proud to have been successfully assessed to be part of the council's approved dog walker scheme.  I wanted to be part of the scheme as it provides independent assurance for my customers that I am working to high standards with the safety and wellbeing of their pets at the centre of what I do.

Anyone can register to join but must have done a suitable canine first aid course and have some experience of dealing with dogs. More information on the initiative and how to register interest to be a dog walker can visit the website www.wiltshire.gov.uk/article/4178/Dog-walker-scheme

People looking for more information on Playful Paws Dog Walks can visit www.playfulpawsdogwalks.co.uk (opens new window).

The requirements for statutory licensing for dog boarding, dog day care and breeding can be found here: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/licences-permits-animal

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