A new defibrillator has come to the rescue of two people facing an emergency - just days after it was installed outside a cat rescue.

Katie Lloyd has dedicated almost two decades to helping animals as the founder of Bradford Cat Watch Rescue and Sanctuary. 

It has seen her save the eyesight of a cat covered in a toxic substance and even rescue a paralysed cat left for dead in the streets of Dubai.

The former paediatric nurse wanted to take action after hearing stories about cardiac arrest and loss from people in her life.

For her, every life matters - whether you’re a person or have paws.

The defibrillator can be found at 1 Ashbourne Avenue.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: This defibrillator has already saved two livesThis defibrillator has already saved two lives (Image: Newsquest)

She told the Telegraph & Argus: “I’ve always said the heart beat of the rescue is based on three foundations: Compassion, pride and respect which spells CPR.

“There’s more and more people experiencing cardiac arrests, it was just an idea that came to me and I just thought, we need a defibrillator in this area. There isn’t one on the Ashbourne estate and I wanted to donate and fund personally a defibrillator that could serve the whole community.

“Every life matters. For us it’s our thank you to the community for supporting us. 

“For me, community’s everything. Because without community we can’t really achieve anything. You need people behind you whether that’s funding or it’s all coming together. Our community’s everything to us. We have a really good neighbourhood round here. Not everyone likes cats but most people in the community really respects what we do. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Katie and Dijon the cat outside Bradford Cat Watch Rescue and Sanctuary, where the defib can be foundKatie and Dijon the cat outside Bradford Cat Watch Rescue and Sanctuary, where the defib can be found (Image: Newsquest)

I flash back to the pandemic, on my own with poorly cats, someone walking past me like ‘How are you doing?’. If there’s ever been an emergency I don’t drive and I need to go the vets quickly someone’s always taken me. Everyone’s always wanting to help us. It’s almost like paying it forward.

“I really wish there was more [community spirit]. We’d all achieve more. We’d all be safer. It’s the way society’s become, ‘Oh I don’t want to get involved if someone’s fallen over outside’. Just go outside, offer a blanket, it makes all the difference. In a small way. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture. Just being there as a community and bringing back those old fashioned values, small actions like that.”

After seeing her defibrillator had been used twice in such a short space of time, Katie said: “I was quite overwhelmed and emotional. First time I was like, ‘How strange’.”

The defibrillator - which costs £1,600 to install and connects to the rescue’s mains - will be an ongoing commitment for Katie.

“Every time that defibrillator is used the pad costs £75 to replace,” said Katie. 

“Mine’s been used twice in a week which is crazy. We’ve had to replace them twice. It’s going to be an ongoing commitment that we’re going to need to make sure there’s a little bit of fundraising in our pocket. The batteries cost £300 to replace. They need replacing every few years.

“It isn’t just a case of going and buying something and that’s it. It’s quite a responsibility. 

“Every week I check everything’s in place. We’re guardians of this defibrillator.”

Explaining how the defibrillator works, she said: “You ring 999, ‘Someone’s collapsed on the street’. The operator says ‘you need to go down to 1 Ashbourne Avenue, it’s right outside the cat rescue, press the code’. They get the defibrillator out the cabinet and the defibrillator tells you what to do. The paramedics are on the way.”

The- volunteer-led rescue is set to hold an awareness day for basic life support training and defibrillator use in March. 

The event will raise funds for more public access defibrillators. 

If anyone would like to donate to the costs of Katie’s defibrillator they can use the rescue’s details with the reference ‘defibrilator’ or ‘CPR’.

People can donate via via PayPal using bcwrkittensfundraising@gmail.com as the recipient.

Alternatively people can call Northcote Vets and pay over the phone on 01274 632222, quoting ‘BCWR’.