A SMALL charity based in Wotton-under-Edge has been handed the "animal welfare equivalent of an Oscar" at a prestigious awards event.

Dog Breeding Reform Group (DBRG) was named Charity Team of the Year at last week's 2018 CEVA Animal Welfare Awards for its work 'informing the general public about irresponsible dog breeding'.

Founder Carol Fowler, who has helped influence government legislation in this area, described the recognition as "amazing".

Set up in response to a genetic disease which affected Carol's first dog, DBRG provides information for people looking to buy a dog and aims to influence improvements to dog breeding standards.

"When I had my first dog, which was a cavalier King Charles spaniel, she had a very horrible breed-related genetic disease which caused her a great deal of pain in her life and it caused me a huge amount of distress andI just asked the question 'why?'"

The charity is a group of people interested in the welfare of dogs, with a particular focus on issues surrounding breeding.

Among its trustees are experts in animal welfare legislation and vets.

In 2008, DBRG took part in the BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed which explored health issues suffered by many dogs.

At the CEVA Animal Welfare Awards event, held in Birmingham on April 4, the charity's work was recognised when it was handed the Charity Team of the Year award.

"In animal welfare circles, the CEVA awards are like the Oscars.

"Getting that award was so amazing, it gives you that extra bit of motivation to keep on doing what you're doing."

The event was hosted by Countryfile presenter Matt Baker and renowned retired veterinary surgeon Chris Laurence.

For more information on the charity and its work to influence animal welfare legislation, visit dogbreedingreformgroup.uk