Four kittens found dumped in a cardboard box at a BMW garage have been re-homed by animal charity Wood Green - just as it launches its Christmas appeal.

More than 100 animals are expected to end up at Wood Green Animal Shelter over the Christmas period where the charity will provide them with specialist medical care and food until they are nursed back to health and new homes are found for them.

A spokesman for the charity, which is based at Godmanchester, said: “Verstappen, Hamilton, Riccardo and Thomasina were found in a closed cardboard box next to the bins at a BMW garage in Bourn.

“The garage owners brought them in to us and, given how small they were, we put them on foster care in pairs.”

She said the kittens had a tough start to their lives but had now been re-homed successfully.

The spokesman said they were also looking after another abandoned kitten called Olaf which had undergone surgery to repair a large hernia. The five-week-old kitten is now recovering from his ordeal.

She said stories of animals being abandoned were common for Wood Green staff but that caring for them represented a major investment for the charity.

Kittens needed time, specialist milk and a hand-feeding kit as staff replaced the kittens' mother in nursing them to a level where they could be re-homed.

Wood Green, which does not get any Government aid, has launched its Christmas appeal, saying all financial support will help save the lives of animals and that an £18 gift would provide a Christmas survival box containing essential supplies including medication, surgical equipment and antibiotics.

To find out more, log on to www.woodgreen.org.uk.