HUNDREDS of donations from all over the world and a celebrity endorsement from Ricky Gervais's cat have lifted the spirits of an animal charity targeted by thieves.

Cherwell Cats Protection lost more than £300 in cat food when its stores in Buckingham Road, Bicester, were broken into just days before Christmas, leaving volunteers heartbroken and its stray cats and kittens facing a shortage of food over the holidays.

Thieves smashed their way into the garage on December 20, tearing their way through boxes and boxes of cat food before taking the contents and leaving the packets strewn across the store.

But after putting out a plea to supporters to replace the stolen stock, the charity, which takes in and rehomes unwanted and stray cats from Bicester, Banbury and Brackley in Northamptonshire, has been inundated with donations from around the globe.

The charity also garnered support through the Twitter account of famous feline Ollie @myleftfang – the cat famously known for being comedian Ricky Gervais's pet.

The account shared the tweet from Cherwell Cats Protection which said: "Sadly someone has broken into our private garage store and taken almost all of our cat food.

"We are completely heart broken and feel very frustrated that someone would do this as it’s for our cats.

"Items sent from the Amazon wish list go to a separate address so these are safe."

The celebrity account also praised several others for the kind donations and Mr Gervais retweeted the cat's post.

Within days of posting the appeal for help, Cherwell Cats Protection had received hundreds of donations – both funding donations as well as food parcels.

Cherwell Cats Protection coordinator, Pat Murdoch, said: "Through Facebook and Twitter, we have been contacted by hundreds of people, some as far away as America and Canada.

"As of today, more than £600 in money has been sent to us and we have received more than 212 food parcels via Amazon whilst many more food donations have been taken to local vets and fosterers.

"One donation of food came from another animal charity – Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary – and we have even had a food package sent to us from Germany.

"It has been overwhelming how kind so many people have been and it is in such a contrast to the despicable people who stole the food from us."

The charity has thanked everyone near and far for the donations, which were enough enough to help the 15 cats in care over Christmas still have a Christmas Day dinner.

Bicester Vets, Hart Vets, Hawthorn Vets and Pets4Vets have also been accepting donations on the charity's behalf.

Thames Valley Police is still investigating the break on, which happened on December 20 about 1.15am.

Anyone with any details is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 43170376412

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