Yorkshire Cat Rescue is celebrating the five-year anniversary of its first charity shop, which has helped increase the number of cats saved by a staggering 60%.

The shop on Cavendish Street opened on 1 December 2012. Before then, the charity relied on fundraising events and donations from supporters to keep its doors open.

The difference made by the income from the shop has been significant – perhaps most clearly demonstrated by the number of cats rescued then and now.

“In 2012, we saved the lives of 613 cats and kittens. Five years later, we’re about to reach 1000 cats saved for the first time. Already in 2017, we have taken in 961 cats. This represents a 60% rise in just five years, which we really couldn’t have achieved through individual fundraising initiatives alone,” says Yorkshire Cat Rescue founder, Sara Atkinson.

Sara adds: “We do prioritise giving our cats and kittens the best care available, and have become known for stepping in when large groups of cats from single households are in need of help. These kittens especially often need a broad range of medical treatments, intensive care and temporary fostering before they can be put up for adoption. This is hugely expensive and also requires the experience and consistency of having full-time cat care assistants on site. Credit to our shops, the many volunteers who run them and our dedicated manager, Kathy, we can say 'yes' when many others say 'no'."

Since 2012, the charity has opened another shop in Halifax and will be launching its third shop shortly, in Brighouse.

Kathy Maxwell is the charity's area manager for all the shops. She says: “It is wonderful to be part of a team who care so deeply about the charity they support.

"Our wonderful shop managers, Rebecca Nichol and Helen Wilkinson are constantly working to improve the shops for the customers who come, not only for a great bargain, but because they want their money to matter.

"We rely entirely on donations of a whole range of items to keep the shops stocked, and on volunteers to keep the doors open. So anyone who wants to help us make 1000 unwanted cats wanted each year, should contact me or pop by one of our shops."

Yorkshire Cat Rescue's two shops are on 78-80 Cavendish St, Keighley and 38 Southgate, Halifax.