Kitten Rescued From Bin Is RSPCA Cattery’s 500th Cat Rehomed

A kitten dumped in a rubbish bin and rescued by the RSPCA has found her ‘fur-ever home’, as a rescue and rehoming cattery supported by five local branches of the RSPCA celebrates a milestone achievement.

Lucky Luna is the 500th cat to be rehomed by the RSPCA Cat Rehoming Hub, based just outside Darlington, since it opened in April 2018.  Originally named Miracle, Luna was rescued from an industrial waste bin in Durham just before Christmas by RSPCA Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Shane Lynn, after passers-by heard the 10-week-old female kitten meowing and called the RSPCA cruelty line.

ACO Lynn said: “It is incredibly unlikely Luna got into the bin by herself. It was one of those big industrial bins and the lid was down. There was nothing else in it apart from her, so whoever closed the lid couldn’t have missed her being inside.”

Luna was discovered in a rubbish bin by ACO Lynn

ACO Lynn took Luna to the RSPCA Cat Rehoming Hub where she was cared for by one of its volunteer cat fosterers.  Set up by five RSPCA branches, namely Darlington, North Teesside, Middlesbrough and South Tees, Northallerton, Thirsk and Dales, and Sunderland, Hartlepool and South Tyneside, the RSPCA Cat Rehoming Hub rehomes cats rescued by RSPCA officers across the Darlington, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Sunderland, Northallerton and North Yorkshire areas.  Like Luna, the cats it rehomes have often faced cruelty or neglect, or been abandoned.

Luna’s new owners, the Irwin family, travelled from near Stanley in County Durham to pick up the  tortoiseshell and white kitten and take her to her forever home.  Pauline Irwin saw a picture of Luna in the rubbish bin and immediately wanted to adopt her, so she turned detective to track her down. 

“Pauline and family were the first to see Luna after Christmas and reserved her straight away,” said RSPCA Cat Hub Rehoming Co-ordinator Sophie Moran-Barker.

“We are particularly pleased that Luna is the cat who takes us to the milestone of 500 cats rehomed, as she had such a terrible start in life.

“The Cat Hub was established with the aim of rehoming 120 cats each year, so rehoming 500 cats in less than two 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 first of its type in the country, the Cat Hub was established by local RSPCA branches to deal with the growing problem of abandoned and neglected cats in the region and is funded by the branches, as well as by donations from the general public and by business sponsorship.

In England and Wales the RSPCA rescued more cats than any other animal in 2018, collecting more than 22,000 as a result of calls to its national cruelty line.  This is four times the number of dogs rescued (5,930).

Further information about the work of the Cat Hub and cats available for rehoming can be found at and

Lucky kitten Luna is the 500th cat rehomed by the RSPCA Cat Rehoming Hub near Darlington. (Rear) RSPCA Officer Shane Lynn, (middle l-r) RSPCA Cat Hub Rehoming Co-ordinator Sophie Moran-Barker, Pauline Irwin, (front l-r) Grace Irwin, 7, Jessica Irwin, 10.