Dogs have long been described as man’s best friend but Croydon’s dog warden has taken that friendship to a new level.
Each year Tara Boswell, 32, helps re-home approximately 275 stray dogs.
In November she will be awarded the Gold PawPrint Award from the RSPCA.
Miss Boswell said: “I have always wanted to work with animals and dogs are my passion. I completed a degree in Animal Welfare and now celebrate 10 years as Croydon’s dog warden.
“My friends and family know how passionate I am so they are extremely proud of my achievements.”
Rachel Williams, organiser of the PawPrint Awards said: “Tara is really driven, and this is a great achievement.”
She added: “Only 60 per cent of awards are given out at Gold level so this is a massive achievement for Croydon.”
The PawPrint Awards began in 2008 and aim to bring London boroughs the recognition they deserve for their hard work.
Miss Boswell, explaining her job, said: “I foster where I can, I usually take in elderly dogs, injured dogs or really young puppies.
“I do primarily focus on stray dogs but I have worked with rabbits, guinea pigs and cats.
“I once rescued two crabs from a local pond and managed to get them re-homed.”
In March 2019 a malnourished and neglected dog was found tied to a bench in Thornton Heath.
The dog was covered in scars and bruises and was too weak to stand up. He was taken to Croydon PDSA pet hospital by a member of the public.
The hospital contacted Tara who went and collected the dog, who was later named Todd. Tara phoned multiple shelters and rescues to find him a place to get medical treatment.
She eventually found Todd a place at Last Hope Rescue. Todd was taken straight to the rescue’s veterinary clinic in Farnham where he underwent a critical 48 hours.
After some great care, Todd was able to recover. He has now been successfully rehomed.
Miss Boswell said: “We have had similar stories to Todd as well as overweight dogs. However, Todd’s story was a very extreme case.”
She added: “When you find a stray dog you do not have the time to be upset about what you see.
“You focus on getting them the help they need, but the job itself is so rewarding.”
When giving advice to the public, Miss Boswell said: “Rescue when you can and go to local animal shelters.
“Always try to promote responsible dog ownership such as microchipping and by attending neutering schemes. Rescue, donate and share posts whenever you can.”
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