January may have brought the novelty of Narnia-style snow but the sub-zero conditions stranded many of our staff, the animal transport van couldn’t manoeuvre on the icy roads and our rehoming figures suffered the worst hit since May 2007.

Only 9 animals found new homes in January, meaning we had very limited capacity to take in new animals during a month when many were finding themselves homeless.

January also saw our first community welfare event, a free pet health clinic in Gorton, suffer with the snow and ice, with a record low attendance of just 24 animals. But there was one silver lining to it all – the enormous amount of fun our dogs had playing in the winter wonderland.

It warmed up on the rehoming front in February with a respectable 24 animals finding new homes, but things died down again in March with only 15 being rehomed. March also saw us battling with dreaded cat flu, which resulted in the reluctant decision to close to cattery to new admissions in order to contain the spread of the virus.

But of all the trials of the year to date the greatest low point was staff redundancies. In all six staff were made redundant, two were successfully redeployed, and at the end of March we said goodbye to Deputy Shop Managers Maureen Leonard and Susan England, Van Driver Peter Goodstadt and Animal Care Manager Jo Yoli. We wish them every success for the future and express our thanks for their years of service to the charity.

At the beginning of the year the branch won a £5k grant from the national RSPCA to deliver its vital community pet health clinics. We were also lucky enough to be sponsored by Supreme Pet Foods to the tune on £1k to help with the running costs of our recent Rabbit and Guinea Pig Roadshows. This extra funding enabled us to offer welfare assistance to pets in need of further veterinary treatment or welfare neutering too. We are pleased to report that our first four pet health clinics of the year have seen 291 animals attend to receive a free vet health check, low cost microchipping and discounted flea and worming treatment – that’s an average of 73 per clinic!

We may be looking at an uncertain future but we are doing it with steely determination! The branch is hoping that its soon-to-be launched website will positively impact on animal adoptions and income generation.
The national RSPCA has also launched a new-look website, which has a new feature called ‘Pet Search’. This search tool enables the public to see what animals are available for adoption and the service is now available for branches to use too. Go to select ‘Pet Search’ and type in ‘Manchester’ to see some of our furries looking for homes.

We will of course continue to use Facebook and the following websites to promote our animals:
but if you have any great ideas on how to promote our animals please let us know – we would be very grateful indeed!

Making Friends…..
The branch is sometimes lucky enough to become great friends with its animal adopters. This is always such an enriching and rewarding experience for us so we just wanted to say a big thank you to you for joining the team.

Our volunteers really are invaluable to us, as we simply couldn’t do what we do without you. So, if you are interested in helping here are a few ideas. We are currently recruiting for…
RSPCA Week Tesco Collectors
Summer Fair & Fun Dog Show helpers
Branch Committee Members
Dog Foster Carers

To get involved please contact Susie at the branch.

What really makes our day, just as much as rehoming an animal, is learning how they are getting on in their new home. This month I have the pleasure in sharing with you updates on some familiar faces.

Roma found a wonderful home for life in Yorkshire, as well a great companion in her mate Ben, pictured left. Roma’s owners tell us she is doing really well is such a happy, loving dog and they are so glad they chose to adopt her.

Ben waited nearly a year to find his forever home but it was certainly worth waiting for. He has gone to live with one our long-standing volunteers, Clare Goss and her family and Tia the dog.
Tia and Ben are quite alike – love affection, toy obsessed and absolutely gorgeous. The family are working really hard to make it work and are completely in love with Ben.

We want to say a huge thank you to the Goss family for making Ben’s wishes come true in 2010.

Buddy & Cleo
We have been truly lucky to find such a wonderful home for this gorgeous pair but to also become firm friends with their mum, Heather, who is an amazing photographer and regularly sends us the most wonderful photos of her fur babies, which really helps to lift our spirits on a bad day.
Thank you Heather for being such a great friend!

Tinker had been with us since August last year and we were beginning to lose hope until the ‘Special Appeals’ page on the national RSPCA website found her a forever home not so far away in Tameside! Tinker’s new mum contacted us to say, “She has definitely made herself at home and loves our bed more than her own. She is so lovable and cute and loves her cuddles, but we have seen her little madam side especially when we attempt to brush! I’m so glad she came to live with us, she has such a character and loves being around me and my boyfriend, she likes to sit in middle of us on the sofa or usually next to me and makes Alistair sit on the floor, which is funny! Thank you so much for letting us have her.”


We need help with collections at Prestwich and Burnage Tescos:
29th/30th April evenings and 1st/2nd May day time
If you give just two hours of your time please get in touch

Sat 22nd May 12-4pm FREE All Pets Health Clinic at Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre, Portway, Wythenshawe £3 microchipping and low cost flea and worm treatment

Sat 5th June 12-3pm Giant Swap Shop for World Environment Day at Chorlton Park, Nell Lane
Swap anything from clothes, bric-a-brac, plants, seeds, books and bring your rags for recycling
FREE entry, refreshments on sale – contact us to book a free stall!

Sat 5th June 7pm A Classical Piano Recital – covering music for a wide variety of taste by Alessandra Pompili, at Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street, Manchester M2 1NL. Tickets on the door £10 (£8 conc). 100% profit to the branch

National Microchipping Month £3 CHIPPING FOR ALL PETS
Sat 12th June 11-2pm Clifton Country Park, Salford
Sun 20th June 11-2pm Blackleach Country Park, Salford

Sat 10th July 12-5pm Summer Festival & Fun Dog Show
Chorlton Park, Nell Lane –
Stalls, live music, dog show, dog agility and flyball demos, climbing wall, bouncy castle, cafes, donkeys, police dogs & horses, craft workshops, street entertainers and much much more
FREE ENTRY. To book a stall please get in touch!