Animal cruelty rescue toll revealed

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THE RSPCA rescued 3,705 animals in South Yorkshire last year after receiving reports of cruelty in the county.

The number of animals rescued in 2010 is slightly down on 2009 when 3,863 animals were saved.

Latest figures released by the animal charity reveal that altogether last year almost 159,686 complaints of alleged cruelty were received in 2010, a total of 47,117 of which were about animals kept in the north of England - a 10 per cent increase on the year before.

A total of 130,033 animals were rescued and more than 86,000 animal owners received welfare improvement advice from the RSPCA last year to help them improve the way they care for their pets.

The figures have been released by the RSPCA as part of national RSPCA Week, which runs until Sunday.

Staff at the RSPCA’s national control centre in Rotherham handled 1,163,240 calls and 64,086 animals were rehomed.

Almost £4 million was spent on veterinary care for 210,970 animals treated in the charity’s hospitals and clinics.

Martin Marsh, RSPCA regional superintendent for the north of England, said: “It is thanks to the commitment and dedication of our officers that they managed to investigate so many complaints and rescue so many animals.

“Offering welfare advice is a crucial part of the work of the RSPCA since the Animal Welfare Act came into law in 2007. It enables our officers to prevent cruelty by issuing owners with advice on how to care for and treat their animals.

“Over nine out of 10 owners chose to follow the advice rather than risking prosecution, which is always a last resort as far as the RSPCA is concerned.”

RSPCA regional manager for the north of England Mike Hogg said: “The RSPCA is and has always been proactive in preventing cruelty and suffering to animals.

“In addition to our work with companion animals, we have a strong record in rehabilitating sick and injured wild animals and birds. We are also working hard to improve the lives of farm animals and have helped to boost the numbers of free range laying hens and pigs raised to higher welfare standards.

“We’re sharing these figures this week, as part of RSPCA Week, so that our supporters can see what we have achieved because of your support and we want to say thank you.”