There are hundreds of unwanted animals roaming the streets of Te Awamutu and Dianne Gray is picking up the pieces.

The founding member of animal rescue charity TA Care is overloaded with abandoned kittens and is almost at full capacity.

For the last 10 years Dianne and her team of volunteers have been rescuing stray animals, fostering them and selling them to loving owners.

The founding member of animal rescue charity TA Care has her hands full of abandoned kittens. Photo / Bethany Rolston
The founding member of animal rescue charity TA Care has her hands full of abandoned kittens. Photo / Bethany Rolston

But Dianne's passion for animals stretches much further back - she's been saving animals since the 1990s.

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TA Care mostly rescues cats and kittens, but also looks after dogs, puppies, chickens and guinea pigs.

Dianne is an animal lover and believes that each animal in Te Awamutu deserves a good home.

But now she's got her hands full - much like most other animal rescue charities - and is desperate for help.

In the last month she's rescued 50 kittens and estimates she's helped save thousands of pets over the last decade.

Dianne is the owner of Nellie's Bazaar in The Warehouse Complex, George St. Photo / Dean Taylor
Dianne is the owner of Nellie's Bazaar in The Warehouse Complex, George St. Photo / Dean Taylor

Dianne is the owner of Nellie's Bazaar in The Warehouse Complex, George St.

The volunteer-run op-shop helps fund TA Care and subsidises the cost of raising animals so that people can adopt them at a "reasonable cost" - around $100.

No cats are housed at Nellie's Bazaar, but they are often sold from there.

Taking on unwanted kittens - and sometimes the mother cat - is no easy or cheap task.

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"If we take on a mother cat and her newborn kittens then we'll need to look after them for eight weeks before they can be adopted."

The cost of health checks, worming, medication and defleaing a kitten is about $300.

"It's not cost effective for us to continue like this," Dianne says.

"We're not making any money - we're simply providing a service to the community."

Dianne has a dream to raise enough money to rent or lease a property in Te Awamutu to be used as a cattery.

"This would mean that the community and volunteers could be involved in raising and caring for the animals."

It would take the load off her foster volunteers who are raising kittens in their homes.

Dianne also wants to focus on a de-sexing programme in a bid to reduce Te Awamutu's cat population.

"There are areas of Te Awamutu where the streets are overrun with cats," she says.

As well as volunteers to foster animals, Dianne would appreciate financial help or donations of food, blankets and bedding for the cats.

She is thankful to those who already support TA Care including VE Vets, a long-time supporter of the charity.

"We need all the help we can get," Dianne says.

"We love our work, and we're grateful to everyone who already helps, but we just need more help."

Contact TA Care on Facebook, 07 870 1822 or 021 463 543.