Adorable pup Twinkle is just one of the thousands of dogs rescued in Yorkshire this year – but dramatic new figures show the number of stray dogs is on the rise.
In the past year alone, the number of strays in the region has increased by an alarming 43 per cent.
The figures – released as part of the 17th annual Stray Dog Survey on behalf of Dogs Trust – reveals the total number of stray dogs picked up by local authorities in the Yorkshire TV region has reached 12,348.
The number has dramatically increased from 8,606 in 2012 to 12,348 in 2013 – the equivalent of 34 dogs being picked up each day.
The results go against the national average, which has seen a 6 per cent decrease in the total number of strays collected in the UK by local authorities.
Despite authorities working hard to encourage responsible dog ownership through neutering, microchipping and education, they are still forced to put some dogs to sleep.
The high number of stray dogs puts huge strain on local authority resources and this year they were forced to euthanise over 1,600 dogs, which is more than four dogs a day put to sleep each day in the region.
Laura-Jane Muscroft, Dogs Trust Leeds’ education officer, said: “Sadly, this year’s Stray Dog Survey represents depressing news for Yorkshire’s dogs with the total number of strays increasing, despite the commendable effort made by local authorities and welfare charities to promote responsible dog ownership.
“Dogs Trust hopes these alarming figures will remind dog owners to ensure their dog is microchipped and the details kept up to date to improve the chances of being reunited with the dog should they stray.
“Local authorities do not want to put dogs to sleep but they are struggling to cope with huge numbers of strays. “
She added: “We hope to continue our existing work with local authorities through our extensive education, neutering and microchipping campaigns to help them tackle the issue of stray dogs.”