Abandoned cats in Hawke's Bay are being given a second chance thanks to Hastings woman Vicky Mckay.

Ms Mckay runs a no kill cat rescue shelter, meaning she will never put a healthy animal to sleep if she can't find it a home.

"It will have a home with me till it finds its forever home."

Ms Mckay started saving dogs from the Hastings pound about seven years ago. She saved and re-homed more than 200 mostly dogs on death row.


"I gave them a second chance at life."

However, a chance encounter with a dying cat saw her open a shelter for vulnerable cats and kittens.

"I found a tiny kitten (Sammie) very close to death out in the country."

She said the vets thought he may have been too badly brain damaged.

"They said if there was no improvement it would be best to put him to sleep."

Sammie lay on a towel for ten weeks where he fought for his life.

"I spoon fed him everyday and night for ten weeks till he got the strength to start to walk."

Sammie grew to be a happy, healthy cat which inspired Ms Mckay to open her cat shelter.

"I'm in my second season now saving cats and kittens and it is all dedicated to him. I've always loved all animals but he gave me a real passion for cats and kittens."

Her Facebook page Vicks rescue - Saving cats and kittens in need - has attracted more than 600 likes.

She said she was lucky enough to have the help of her two sons Hayden, 16, and Jonty, 14, who help care for and clean up after their furry feline friends.

When she has a "pet run" her sons know she has to go - "whether it be day or night if there's an animal in need I will go."

She tries to limit her rescues to the ones that are really in need as there are only so many she can take in.

She recently bought her family home in Flaxmere which she opens up to animals in need.

The rescued cats have a "kitten palace" built specially for their needs. She can have anywhere between two and 12 cats at one time.

Visit her page to see about adopting a cat for $120 which covers fleeing, worming, vaccinations, and de-sexing. https://www.facebook.com/ViksRescuedDogs/?pnref=lhc

Any donations can be dropped off at the People For Pets op shop on Heretaunga St or Hastings Vet Services.