A SLEEP-DEPRIVED animal rescuer who cares for 40 cats in her own home has revealed just how dangerous life can be for strays walking our streets.

Bradford-born Paula Thoma has saved kittens with maggots crawling out their bodies, strays from dogfighters and cats almost fully blind due to untreated illnesses like feline Aids (FIV).

Paula, who has now given up her bedroom to make space for more cats, says the situation has become "horrific" as people throw cats out on the street unneuteured and often with diseases.

Living on three hours sleep each night, she told the Telegraph & Argus that many people ask why she continues her plight but it's simply because she cares too much to stop.

Paula said: "To me, a cat in need is a cat in need. I live and breathe daily for the animals I care for.

"I get messages all day regarding cats that need help and I try to make sure they have rescues to go to but the situation is not getting any better and it is breaking my heart seeing the cats suffering daily.

"I spent most my life in BD3 and it was spotless when I lived there. Now it is a dump; rubbish, furniture dumped everywhere and stray cats everywhere in horrible states fighting and breeding because there are rats and mice everywhere due to the rubbish.

"Bradford is becoming a huge rubbish tip and it's soul destroying.

" I do not have a bag of money at my disposal to pay for the cats I rescue. Every penny I have to raise to help these cats in my care. I am 24/7 cats everyday. My house is fit to bursting."

But it's not just BD3. This is a district in a cat crisis, she warns, with more neutering efforts needed in BD4, BD5, BD7, BD8 and BD9.

Read more: Kittens found dead in Bradford streets could soon be the norm, cat rescue warns

Most of the strays that Paula finds need vet treatment, recently paying out £700 for a leg amputation and two dentals costing £500.

Some cats are so poorly they can't be spayed or vaccinated for months. Paula is joining other cat rescues across the district in sharing multilingual leaflets and appealing to host informative workshops in mosques to break the language barrier.

Paula said: "People want cats to kill the vermin but they don't want to look after them.

"We see dying kittens everywhere, kittens dead in carrier bags. There's somebody going round mutilating cats. People are letting their cats breed and half these cats won't even live. They use them as bait.

"It's really important to spay and neuter."

Paula, who hopes to set up a CIC, welcomes donations using Paypal on Paulathoma@outlook.com