Lee Bunn, an officer with East Devon District Council's Estate Management team, at the Animal Awareness roadshow in Axminster

Council creates pet and general animal welfare events to highlight issues

East Devon District Council’s housing tenants and Estate Management team have together been busy organising a series of roadshows in Sidmouth (13 May), Axminster (15 May), Seaton (19 May) and Exmouth (20 May) to raise awareness of animal related health issues such as dog fouling and seagulls, as well as to provide free general health advice for pets.
Those roadshows that have already taken place have proved a big hit with animal-loving residents, who brought in a wide range of pets ranging from dogs and cats to a guinea pig.

Owners were able to get a free health check and guidance on animal care from a number of top animal welfare and care professionals who were involved with the roadshows, including: The RSPCA, Cats Protection, Combefield Veterinary Hospital, Dogs Trust, The Cinnamon Trust, Mutts Butts, Dogs Day Out, Tiggywinkles and East Devon District Council’s own dog wardens.
Free microchipping was carried out by the dog wardens, using equipment donated by Dogs Trust, and animals were assessed and advised on general health issues including weight control, diet, and exercise.
The RSPCA and Cats Protection provided one-to-one advisory consultations, which proved extremely popular, while Dogs Day Out were able to discuss behavioural problems and carried out free doggy grooming makeovers.
NBC Bird & Pest Solutions displayed their birds of prey, including a barn owl, which are currently being used to deter seagulls on the seafront at Sidmouth and Seaton. They highlighted how important it is for members of the public not to feed seagulls, as this encourages the birds to congregate and become aggressive.
As well as providing guidance on pest control, the council’s Housing and Environmental Health teams, created a “horror” kitchen at each venue, containing 18 typical domestic health hazards, which people had to find.
The council is also extremely grateful to Combefield, Mole Avon,Tesco, Kings Garden & Leisure, Mutts Butts, Cats Protection and Otter Nurseries who gave generous prize donations to a free raffle.
An East Devon District Council spokesperson said:

These roadshows are the culmination of a great deal of hard work and preparation, and we would like to say a big thank you to all the housing tenants, East Devon officers, professionals, organisations and businesses who worked tirelessly to ensure their success.

The events were intended to be not just educational, but also fun, because people learn more if they are enjoying themselves. Animal welfare is something we take very seriously indeed and we hope that our roadshows have helped highlight the importance of taking proper care of our pets. 

We also hope that the birds of prey will highlight the importance of the ongoing work that is being carried out, and that it will encourage visitors and residents alike to think about how they dispose of food waste, which attracts seagulls.