The Hartlepool rescue service giving hundreds of cats in the town a second chance
A team of volunteers have helped more than 300 cats across town to find a home in just one year.
The venture was started three years ago by Julie Clayton, 60, and daughter Amber, 28.
Initially set up as We Help Hartlepool Animals, it recently switched its focus to cats and changed its name to Second Chance after a very special kitten.
The Seaton resident said: “We had a little farm cat handed into us that we thought wasn’t going to survive and we named him Chance.
"And then he’s come on really, really well, so when we were looking for a name for the service, we decided to call it Second Chance.
"We still got him with us at the moment. He’s absolutely gorgeous.”
Currently, the service, which doesn’t have a specific base in the town, takes care of 50 cats.
The animals are looked after by 20 volunteers at their homes.
Julie, who used to work in administration, said: "We are absolutely inundated with cats all the time.
"Hartlepool itself has a real big problem with unneutered cats.”
She continued: "I think over the last year we have managed to neuter and rehome, or reunite about 300 cats.
"We’ve done 22 in the last month.
"I think we started off fostering maybe about 10 cats and then the numbers went up and up.
"It seems like we get six out to homes and we get another 12 in.
"It really is never ending,“ Julie laughed.
The rescue is run entirely on donations and provides all its services – including fostering, flea and warm treatments and help with neutering costs – free.
Julie said: "It’s very rewarding knowing that we are helping these animals and helping people being reunited with their pets.
“There’s always a cat that needs a cuddle or feeding, so that can help with your mental health.
"You’re helping them and they’re helping you in a way as well.
"It’s never ending, but we do fell like we are making at least a small contribution.”