NEW figures show fewer animals are being neglected in West Yorkshire.

The RSPCA last night announced that it rescued 4,664 animals in the region in 2010 – down from 4,826 in 2009.

The charity’s North of England superintendent Martin Marsh 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, especially given the treacherous weather we had in the early and latter parts of the year.

“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 actually 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 added: “We have always been proactive in preventing cruelty and suffering to animals. This is why it is such an achievement that more than 90% of animal owners chose to follow the welfare advice offered by our officers.”

Nationally the RSPCA rescued 130,033 animals in 2010, compared with 135,293 in 2009.

The RSPCA investigated almost 160,000 complaints of animal cruelty last year – a rise of more than 10% on 2009, the animal welfare charity said today.

The organisation took more than 1.1 million calls, investigated 159,686 complaints of alleged animal cruelty and issued 86,354 owners with advice on how to improve their animals’ welfare in 2010

The charity released the figures yesterday to mark RSPCA Week.

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