A RESCUE and rehoming cattery based in Darlington is appealing for funds to avoid it closing down.

RSPCA Cat Rehoming Hub has lost more than 20% of its funding in addition to the extra costs coping with Coronavirus.

The hub, which was set up by local branches of the RSPCA to help reduce the number of abandoned and abused cats in the region and cares for 40 kittens at any one time, costs £75,000 a year to run.

Most of the funds come from the RSPCA branches, but fundraising difficulties and reduced charitable donations due to Coronavirus mean they can no longer afford to meet running costs.

Mark Gent, RSPCA Chief Inspector, said: "We need to raise £15,000 to ensure that the RSPCA Cat Hub can survive and we are asking cat lovers across the North East to help by giving what they can. Otherwise there is a danger of the Cat Hub closing down"

The fundraising appeal comes at a time when there has been a boom in kitten numbers due to difficulties in getting cats neutered during lockdown.

This year the RSPCA has responded to nearly 2,000 cat related incidents.