FEWER stray dogs are being put to sleep by councils, according to new figures out today.
The Dogs Trust, formerly the National Canine Defence League, said 444 dogs in Yorkshire had been destroyed when they were picked up by dog wardens.
This is a 6% fall on last year - but the charity warned that the number of stray dogs had gone up.
In Kirklees, 654 strays were collected in 2002 with 98 dogs being destroyed.
More than a third - 260 - were claimed by their owners and 203 were re-homed.
Nationally 111,016 stray dogs were collected and 10,149 put down. In total, 51,904 dogs were reunited with their owners.
Clarissa Baldwin, Dogs Trust chief excecutive, said although it was gratifying to see such a huge reduction, there was no room for complacency.
"The Dogs Trust will continue fighting for an end to destruction until we reach the day when the figure is zero.
"10,000 dogs being killed in one year nationwide, in what purports to be a nation of animal lovers, is wholly unacceptable."