THE owner of a North Yorkshire cat sanctuary has appealed for food donations to help it run into the New Year.

Jackie Bower, who runs Black Cat Rescue Centre from her home in Back Lane, North Duffield, near Selby, takes in cats the bigger animal charities cannot help.

She said the kindness of others has helped significantly with the running of the sanctuary over the past year and has appealed to people to donate cat food to help with the coming year.

Jackie said: “I am a 61-year-old 'one woman band' with a sick husband who has a degenerative illness and I still have to work three days a week. I hold regular fundraising events but these aren't enough to keep the cats fed, littered and warm.

“I may be small but I get lots of calls from people who have been sent to me by the big animal charities when they can't help. Even if I'm full I will always help in a desperate emergency .

“I am unable to turn a blind eye because I love animals so much.

“I may not be able to rescue and re-home on the same scale [as the big charities] but Black Cat is always full and I take several calls a week from people who need my help, even though sometimes it's just advice they're wanting. Besides, it's not just cats I help. By the time people phone me they are generally at their wits end and are so grateful that somebody cares enough to help.”

She said the cat litter bill for the sanctuary for the last year was £3500, the electricity bill was “phenomenal” and veterinary bills go into hundreds of pounds a time.

While 2013 was an incredibly difficult year for the shelter as a number of the cats caught a virus and died but Jackie said 2014 has been a much better year. She said she was overwhelmed a public appeal for food in the summer resulted in two months worth of donations.

People who would like to donate good quality tinned food or sachets can leave food at the shelter or phone Mrs Bower on 01757 289435.