The Yorkshire Vet Julian Norton attended the celebratory event to show his support
The RSPCA Cat Hub in Darlington has today (Tuesday 29th) rehomed its 1,000th cat in a special event which saw a guest appearance from The Yorkshire Vet Julian Norton.
The Cat Hub was set up by the RSPCA four years ago to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome cats in need in the North East. During that time, the hub has rehomed 250 cats a year with the 1,000th cat – Hugo – rehomed today.
At the event held at Aeolian House, TV’s Yorkshire Vet Julian Norton was joined by Chief Inspector Mark Gent and Cat Hub rehoming coordinator Sophie Moran-Barker.
The Yorkshire Vet, Julian Norton, said: “I have treated many rescue cats over the years I have been a vet and it is great to see organisations such as the RSPCA doing such a great job helping cats.”
Mark Gent, RSPCA Chief Inspector for Durham and Cleveland, said: “The Cat Hub was established with the aim of rehoming 120 cats each year, so rehoming 1,000 cats in just four years means that we are performing very well. Up to 30 cats and kittens are available for rehoming at the Cat Hub at any one time. As soon as one cat leaves, another comes, so we are always fundraising and grateful for any support the public gives us.”
Mark and Sophie handed over Hugo, an 11-year-old black and white male cat who was adopted by Jean and Andrew Pegg from Darlington.
Hugo was rescued by the RSPCA as a stray in November 2021 as he had injuries to his eye and jaw. He was suffering from an eye condition called entropion and needed treatment and an operation. He also needed to have three teeth removed before he was moved into foster care in December.
The golden oldie was fostered by Jean but she completely fell in love with him and decided to give Hugo the home he so desperately needs.
Jean said: “Hugo was a bag of bones when he first arrived, when you picked him up he would creak! He was wearing a cone due to his eye operation and he needed six eye drops every single day. I think when you’re fostering a cat like that who really needs you you can’t help but fall in love with them. We knew it would be difficult to find a home for him and so we decided we wanted to keep him!”
Jean began fostering cats in 2008 when she was at home recovering from a serious illness as looking after poorly cats helped to distract her from her own illness. Since the Cat Hub opened four years ago, she has fostered a whopping 90 cats for the RSPCA.
She added: “I have fostered a lot of lovely cats that have left me for forever homes but the ones I have kept have been the sick and the old with not much life left in them- the ones that no one else seems to want.
“They have all been beautiful cats and would spend their last few months living in a warm,
loving and safe environment. In 2016 we decided to make some changes to our house and
converted our garage specifically for the cats where it didn’t matter if they missed the litter tray or had a fur ball or had their toys all over the floor. This was their room to do what they liked. I’ve always worked from home so had plenty of time to care for them but now that I’ve retired I can spend much more time with the cats who need me. It’s very rewarding!”
The Cat Hub is based just outside of Darlington and is supported by four local branches of the charity, including RSPCA North Teesside and District branch based in Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough, South Tees and District branch, and Northallerton, Thirsk and Dales branch and is administered by the RSPCA Darlington and District Branch.
The hub consists of 20 cat pods providing a lifeline for cats who have been rescued by RSPCA officers from some of the worst cases of neglect and cruelty. It opened its doors in April 2018 in an effort to deal with the growing problem of abandoned and neglected cats in the region. It is funded by the branches it supports, as well as donations from the kind general public. It aimed to rehome 120 cats a year so now having rehomed 1,000 cats in four years, this makes it one of the most successful cat rehoming centres in the UK.
Sophie Moran-Barker, Cat Hub Rehoming Coordinator added: “I’m so proud of everything we have achieved over the last four years at the Cat Hub. We often see cats who have been abandoned, neglected, and abused and are in desperate need of care and love. It’s fantastic to be able to say we have rehomed 1,000 cats and to see Hugo, and all the cats in our care, go off to loving homes is so rewarding.”
For more information on the Cat Hub, visit: https://cathub.co.uk/ or find them on Facebook.