ANIMAL cruelty, neglect and suffering are reaching unprecedented levels in modern times according to the RSPCA, the UK’s largest animal welfare charity.

Gavin Grant, CEO of the RSPCA, issued a stark warning today, stating that animal rescue charities are being overwhelmed with animals in dire need, stretching them to breaking point.

Latest figures show that inm the north, which covers West Yorkshire, the RSPCA prosceuted 529 people last year, compared to 471 in 2010. Twenty-two of those people were jailed.

Incidents of animal cruelty have been seen in Huddersfield, including a dog which was kept in a pitch-black shed.

The nine-year-old Bull Terrier was kept in the conditions for hours at a time.

The owner, Nichola McSheffrey, was banned from keeping animals for two years.

The RSPCA reports a massive 65% cent increase in the animals abandoned over the last five years.

Over the same period, the charities running costs have risen 8% from £111m to £120m.

As a result, RSPCA Chief Executive today called for emergency help from the nation’s animal lovers.

He said: “This is a real crisis and despite the dedication of our staff and volunteers, we are struggling to cope. We really need our country’s animal lovers to step forward and open their hearts, homes and purses”