AN ANIMAL shelter is appealing to members of the public to donate treats and toys to animals staying at the centre at Christmas.

The Blue Cross pet charity in Thirsk relays on local support to help homeless animals and has seen an increase of almost double the amount of abandoned kittens since last year.

Emma Pannell, centre manager at Thirsk, said: “We are so grateful for the support we have all year round but this year we’re hoping for that little bit extra.

“Even a few pence will really help us make this Christmas extra special for unwanted pets. While everyone is tucking into their Christmas dinner, we’ll be here giving all the pets as much fuss as we can.

“It isn’t much fun for them being here instead of in a loving home, but we try and make it as enjoyable as we can for them on Christmas day.“

Kittens Santa, Claus, Rudolph and their seven littermates and mum were found in a cardboard box on the Dalton industrial estate near Topcliffe.

Another young female cat was found with them and all 12 will be cared for until loving new homes are found.

To find out more about the abandoned kittens or to make a donation, contact Blue Cross on 0300-777-1540, or email