A SANCTUARY that cares for hundreds of abandoned or stray pets has issued a desperate appeal for people to rehome an animal.

Kays Hill Animal Sanctuary, near West Auckland, County Durham, cares for scores of unwanted pets, from dogs to donkeys.

But in recent months, the sanctuary has been inundated with dozens of abandoned cats and rabbits, leaving staff with no choice but to turn animals in need away.

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Owner Kevin Plummer said: “We take in everything, from mice to horses, but we are completely full.

“It is a desperate situation. We are trying to find homes for them so we can make room for more animals who need help.

“We often ring round the other centres if we become full, but we are all in the same situation now.”

Mr Plummer said the tough economic climate has resulted in more people abandoning their pets and choosing not to get them neutered.

He said: “We are getting into kitten season now. People don’t get their cats neutered, they go out one day and have kittens and then can’t find homes for them.”

The centre relies on fundraising, as well as donations of food, bedding and towels for the animals and Mr Plummer thanked the sanctuary’s supporters, in particular Kate Umpleby, landlady of The Foresters Arms, Coatham Mundeville, near Darlington.

“She has done so much for us recently,” he said.

Anyone able to rehome an animal, or wishing to make a donation, can call 01388-834996.