ANIMAL lovers came face-to-face with a host of creatures as the Bradford branch of the RSPCA held a fundraising open day.

The Mount Street site opened its doors for the annual event, with activities including a children's treasure hunt, tombola and clairvoyants on offer.

The festivities also featured a fun dog show, with pooches battling it out in eight categories including waggiest tail and the dog the judges would most like to take home with them.

The event was held yesterday to raise vital funds for the centre, with donations sought from the animal-loving visitors.

It costs about £1 million every year to run the service in the city which supports RSPCA inspectors across the whole of the north who are seizing animals pending court cases or over welfare issues.

Visitors got to take a closer look at the centre's wide variety of animals including cats, dogs, ferrets, terrapins, swans, rats and pigeons.

Terry Singh, the centre's general manager, said the public's cash boosts from events such as the open day were vital for work to continue and the centre to expand.

He said: "The open day shows people the facility that we have got.

"They are very valuable to getting support from the public and for them donating money.

"The event also shows where the money goes, which is very, very important.

"What we do really, is rely on fundraising and a lot of good will. We want more and more people to help.

"We can house up to 60 dogs and 112 cats at one time, as well as the other types of animals.

"It's about providing a high-quality service, that's our aim here."

The Mount Street site is also one of three centres in the north that has a wildlife facility and its inhabitants have included a Caygua, a type of duck from New York.

Visitors to the open day enjoyed their trip and praised the work the centre does.

Christine Newill, of Queensbury, who attended the open day with her three-year-old ferret Jack, said: "I have ferrets and dogs at home and I just wanted to help out with the charity. I also wanted to show people that ferrets make such nice pets.

"I like to help the RSPCA in any way I can."

Stephen Whiteley, of East Morton, Keighley, said: "It's a good centre.

"We came along because my kids like animals. I have also had a dog from here before, a Jack Russell."

The centre is looking for new trustees, especially with human resource, PR or treasury skills. For more information, call 01274 723063.