As the number of UK households who have pets increases, residents and staff from Hanover Housing Association, the national housing provider for older people with estates located across West Yorkshire were celebrating today after the organisation retained its coveted RSPCA Community Animal Welfare Footprint for the seventh year in a row.
Hanover – who manage the likes of Hanover House and Victoria Court, in Harrogate – looks to preserve the bond between people and pets as much as possible, as it recognises the excellent benefits pets can bring to the health and wellbeing of owners and fellow residents alike. Recent studies have found that companion animals can help to lower blood pressure and regulate a person’s heart rate during stressful situations. Looking after an animal can also give older people a sense of purpose and reduce isolation for those who live alone.
The RSPCA’S Community Animal Welfare Footprint scheme – which began in 2008 – is designed to celebrate, promote and reward the work of housing providers and other bodies in a number of areas that have an impact on improving animal welfare.
Nick Sedgwick, Director of Service Development for Hanover said:
Hanover is proud of the fact that around half of our estates have pets and over 1,200 of our residents are pet owners.
We are committed to ensuring that wherever possible pets are welcome across each estate. Nobody wants to break up a relationship with someone’s beloved pet, which is why we aim to take positive steps to encourage and ensure responsible pet ownership in all our properties.
Rachel Williams, Senior Parliamentary Advisor, RSPCA:
It’s a fantastic achievement for Hanover to have retained their award for a seventh year in a row. The benefits of responsible pet ownership to older people are well known and recognised, so Hanover’s commitment to allowing their residents to keep pets is really important and something we’re thrilled to be able to recognise with a CAWF award yet again.
It is estimated that some 12 million (44 per cent) households across the UK have pets, meaning the pet population currently stands at around 54 million. The most popular pets are dogs (8.5m owners) and cats (8m owners).
Hanover is the only national housing association to be awarded the RSPCA Community Animal Welfare Footprint for its contribution to improving animal welfare.