YORK Central MP Hugh Bayley visited the RSPCA York site in Landing Lane to learn how the recent storms took their toll on the animal home.

He was accompanied by Angela Hunter, branch manager, and Barbara Boyce, chair of the trustees.

During the recent high winds, 12 large trees were blown down and all of the inmates from one of the catteries had to be evacuated to Askham Bryan College.

Small animals, including rabbits and guinea pigs, had to be moved into the meeting room at the RSPCA for safety. The management and trustees of the animal home are now keen to ensure that no further damage is caused.

But the hire of a tree surgeon to carry out the remedial work is expensive and the funding will have to come out of the charity’s limited resources.

It costs £1,500 every day to care for the animals and the York-based charity receives no external funding. In addition, the centre needs to be refurbished to ensure it meets modern animal- care standards.

Mr Bayley said: “Many charities are struggling to obtain funding in the current economic climate and the damage caused by the falling trees has put an additional strain on their resources.

“I am glad none of the animals were injured during the storms and I hope that funding can be raised to carry out the remedial work.”

This year sees the 150th anniversary of the founding of the RSPCA in York and district and there has been a home in York for 70 years.

The RSPCA moved to its current location in Landing Lane from its previous location on Castle Mills Bridge in 1979.

To mark the anniversary, the RSPCA was opening a new charity shop at 56 Goodramgate today. The shop will sell good quality clothing, books and bric-a-brac and the RSPCA hopes members of the public and visitors to the city will support it.