PENDLE MP Andrew Stephenson went on patrol with an RSPCA inspector after a spate of dog attacks.

Mr Stephenson accompanied RSPCA dog inspector Natalie Taylor on her visits in Colne, Nelson, Earby and Barnoldswick and found that she encountered more than just canines on an average day.

“I met a snake and even someone that was keeping a sheep as a pet.

“It was an absolutely fascinating day and I learned a lot.”

Mr Stephenson says that he was inspired to meet with and shadow RSPCA inspectors after a number of residents from Pendle had been in touch with him to raise concerns about dog attacks and mistreated animals.

In 2012, his mother Ann had the end of her finger bitten off delivering leaflets in Colne prior to the local elections.

He said: “Particularly in Colne, we have had a large number of horrific reported incidents of dogs attacking cats and other animals, as well as even attacking human beings.

“I am also hearing from people who are deeply concerned with animal welfare on a fairly regular basis and so I wanted to meet with the RSPCA and find out exactly what they do.”

Mr Stephenson witnessed Natalie offering support and guidance to pet owners during the visits and says that he did not meet any animal that was so severely mistreated that it had to be taken away.

“I thought that Natalie did a fantastic job. She was dedicated, knowledgeable and enthusiastic and told me that she had always wanted to work for the RSPCA.

“The houses that we visited were addresses that the RSPCA became aware of after receiving reports of animal neglect and they were mostly concerned that dogs weren’t being walked enough or going to the vets to receive treatment they needed.

“Natalie gave the owners lots of advice on how to better care for the animal.

“I’m very keen to keep in touch with Natalie and the RSPCA in Pendle so that we can work together and do more to tackle the issues we have around animal welfare.”