THE number of dogs needing new homes have trebled at a Bradford's RSPCA animal centre.
The charity's base in Mount Street took in more than 600 dogs during 2013 compared to 202 the year before, putting more strain on limited resources, said Terry Singh, its general manager.
"The numbers have gone up dramatically - it doesn't give Yorkshire a good reputation but it could also be because people are being more vigilant which is a good thing," said Mr Singh.
It costs about £1 million every year to run the service in the city which supports RSPCA inspectors across the whole of north who are seizing animals pending court cases or over welfare issues.
The centre usually has about 60 dogs in its care at anyone time either being treated by its vets and nurses or just being temporarily home until new owners can be found.
One of its most recent success stories is Freya, a five-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier found left in a house starving to death.
The RSPCA inspector who found her at first thought she was just a white rag on the floor because she was just skin and bone.
It was touch and go for a number of weeks while she was put on a drip but she survived and was brought back to health at Mount Street and its Animal Care staff before being re-homed with new owners Robert and Julie Sutcliffe, of Eccleshill.
Mrs Sutcliffe said: "We adore her. We didn't have a little Staffy in mind when we went to Mount Street but I just fell in love with her. People need to go along with an open mind and meet the dogs there. They deserve a happy home."
The family's terrier Bangers had just died after 14 years when they decided to give another dog a second chance at finding happiness.
The Mount Street centre has also experienced a rise in cats and kittens, and is also one of three centres in the north that has a wildlife facility - its inhabitants have included otters, swans, a buzzard and currently a Caygua - a type of duck from New York.
Mr Singh says donations from the public are its life-line with no funding support coming in at all from the Government.
"We are the only branch that has a clinic helping people on benefits get their pets treated. There is a lot of good work that goes on here but we need help to do it," he said.
The centre hopes people across the city will help raise funds by organising events and food collections for the animals it is caring for.
"The less money we need to spend on food, the more money we can spend on treatment and care," said Mr Singh.
An open day this Sunday from 11am to 3pm will bring in more vital funds as well as raise awareness of the RSPCA and all that happens at the Mount Street base. There will also be a fun dog show, with registration between 11.30am and 12.30pm.