NEWPORT'S RSPCA animal centre is in crisis after running out of room for unwanted dogs.

The centre in Ringland has taken in a record amount of dogs in the last month, including 18 last week. Now workers at the centre are urging people to stop dumping dogs and to take more responsibility.

Julie Davies, (pictured) animal care assistant at the Newport Animal Centre, said: "It's the worst it's ever been. We have a licence to accommodate 53 dogs and already we've got 51.

People keep dumping these animals and we're going to have nowhere to put them. "On Saturday we had two puppies dropped in who were found in a box under a hedge in Caldicot. They were terrified, shaking and screaming so loudly that no-one could touch them. It was heartbreaking."

The eight-week old terrier crosses are now being looked after at the centre. In another incident, a woman left a seven-month old puppy at the centre despite being told there was no room. Julie Davies said: "The woman called ahead but we told her we were full. But she came in anyway, dumped the dog on the front desk and ran away."

The dog, a beagle-corgi cross who workers named Cracker, has since been neutered and found a new home.

Another dog was found tied to the fence outside Hartridge School when the centre could not accept her. Staff took in the bitch, a bearded collie cross, and named her Holly.

The RSPCA stops re-homing unwanted animals in the week before Christmas in case they are given as presents and abandoned again. Although workers at the Newport shelter have managed to transfer some dogs to other centres, they still have more animals than they can handle.

Elin Davies, spokeswoman for RSPCA Wales, said: "The situation over the weekend at Newport Animal Centre is totally disgraceful and unbelievable.

"People seem to think that they can have an annual pre-Christmas clearout and sadly animals are included on that list. People taking on an animal should realise that they will be committing themselves to caring and looking after that animal for the rest of its life.

"Our animal centres are full to the brim already and the added pressure put on them by irresponsible people like this is making the situation worse."