This is a fundraiser to build the UK's only large scale fox dedicated hospital and sanctuary to support the whole of the UK, veterinary practices, rehabbers and rescuers and members of the public with treating foxes of all injury, sickness and disability and give large natural outdoor sanctuary to permanently disabled foxes.
The Fox Hospital is a rehabilitation, rescue, hospital and natural sanctuary facility specifically for foxes created after identifying a distinct and urgent need to build a custom fox hospital facility in the south of the country, where the fox population and volume of sick and injured foxes is most dense. It will be available for vested rescuers/rehabbers to transfer patients to who do not have the space or policy to specifically treat/house foxes themselves or those with policies to euthanise when they don’t necessarily want to but could transfer to the fox hospital instead. Patients of any health condition, any medical requirement and any disability.
In the UK there are less than a handful of sanctuaries who take in foxes and all are currently officially full and refusing further patients. There is also a distinct shortfall on facilities offering wild foxes reasonable care for permanently disabled, in need of ongoing after care or specialist rehabilitation.
With vets doing incredible work, sadly wildlife policies particularly with foxes fall short and many are not given a chance. The aim is to accept foxes from vets, rescuers, rehabbers and members of the public and provide the care they cannot, whether that’s due to policy, lack of space, facilities, knowledge or experience.
The project is to build the entire facility from nothing to completion, which is split into different parts (see FUNDING below).
I rescue, rehabilitate, provide intensive or basic care to foxes with all kinds of injury or sickness for free, full time, voluntarily and independently. I also provide education on fox specific issues and dispel myths or incorrect treatments circulating the internet or social media which are becoming a real problem for the foxes. With growing numbers of patients and rescues, The Fox Hospital became a necessity. The Hospital and Sanctuary is planned to be surrounded by woodland on an undisclosed site to provide treatment for those who require temporary injury management or care before being released back to the wild and permanent sanctuary to those whose injuries require ongoing treatment or put them at risk if released (such as toxoplasmosis, neosporosis, sight impairment, neurological disorders, permanent physical disabilities like front arm amputations or anything that affects their ability to hunt effectively yet they otherwise can go about their life with a little helping hand).
The total funding required is the total amount shown on the fundraiser above, but here is a rough breakdown of the amounts included for each element. There will be slight variation due to delivery charges or price fluctuations at the point of order once all funding is raised and but this is correct at the time of writing this.
- 1) The Care Facility:
The construction of the building itself.
a) Large Main Recovery Ward:
with 28 veterinary recovery kennels and a heated walk in kennel, examination/tub table for surgery and skin condition/decontamination bathing and medication and food prep areas. The main ward is for intensive and basic care for all types of wounds, minor and major surgery recovery, medical conditions and health concerns with direct access to the outdoor rehab/decompression area for non-contagious patients.
b) Contained Quarantine/Zoonotic Ward:
with 16 veterinary recovery kennels for infection control and zoonotic patients which incorporates its own wash down/exam/surgical area to avoid cross contamination between wards.
c) Cubs only Ward:
with 32 veterinary recovery kennels for injured or recovering patients, orphaned litters of babies, incubator facility for vulnerable orphaned newborns, and an attached, self contained outdoor play area for enrichment during recovery and controlled social interaction which incorporates a ‘soft release’ into the area itself for gradual introduction to those already in there. The cub only facility allows for anywhere from 32 fully grown cubs at one per kennel to a fully litter of newborns per kennel putting it at between 32 to 320 cubs capable indoors plus the play area, not including the cubs only part of the sanctuary for transition as they grow.
d) Microscopy area:
for examination of faecal and skin samples for parasite detection and identification.
e) A veterinary laundry area:
with 2 gravity drain, sluice veterinary washing machines incorporating infection control settings and 2 drying machine for constant washing of vet bedding and towels.
f) A medical and veterinary supply store:
for all non-controlled medical supplies such as bandages, food, puppy pads, splints, dressings, etc.
g) Office and admin area:
with live display of the camera system which monitors patients on wards and permanent disabled residents in the sanctuary and rehab areas.
h) toilet, washroom and scrub changing area.
i) Reception/Intake area which is contained to prevent ingress of dust into the hospital wards, medical and food prep area, medical and food prep area. Has separate entrances into the different wards to avoid having to take zoonotic patients through any clean areas.
- 2) The Veterinary Equipment:
(a) Custom built stainless steel veterinary recovery kennels with fox hospital specific requirements and modifications for foxes with the capacity to care for up to 81 individual adult sized foxes (29 in the main recovery ward; 32 (fully grown or many more depending on growth stage) in the Cubs Only Ward; 20 in the Quarantine Ward) at the same time, or for critical or recovering cubs; up to 352+ cubs aged 0-4 weeks (entire litter of 8-12 babies to a kennel), up to 176 cubs aged 1-3 months (4 to a kennel), or up to 88 cubs aged 3-8 months (max 2 to a kennel).
(b) 2 veterinary stainless steel tub tables which incorporate a veterinary examination table as well as a stainless steel wash tub for cleaning patients who require treatment such as ringworm dip, rinse for those with zoonotic mites and skin conditions or decomtamination in a safe and controlled manner. One for each ward to avoid transit of infectious patients through respective wards. This also provides the ability for any visiting or assisting veterinary surgeon(s) to perform surgery as it is a standard vet practice item, a veterinary nurse or myself to treat or examine injured patients.
(c) Veterinary specific laundry facilities (i.e. a veterinary washer with sluice and gravity drain that incorporates professional and essential infection control to veterinary standards that cannot be obtained from a normal domestic appliance and the dryer counterpart.
(d) IV Pumps, Bair Hugger, IR Heat Lamps, for patient temperature regulation pre or post surgery or recovery.
(e) Incubator ICU Pod for critical patients requiring a constant controlled temperature environment.
(f) 40-2500x Trinocular microscope with smart phone adapter to allow share of live microscopy video to a vet via FaceTime or video call for real time parasite detection, study, research or unusual cases on skin, fur and faecal samples.
- 3) External Rehabilitation / Decompression / Transition Area:
Specifically built to provide post-surgery rehabilitation/decompression to those who no longer require forced bed rest and need physio after surgery and/or transition/decompression before release back to the wild or to the permanent sanctuary area. Incorporates inclines, declines, uneven surfaces, easier platforms, natural foliage and environment, multiple surface types (grass, gravel, paving, sand, bark, etc), flowing water source, sheltered kennels, artificial earth with emergency access. For permanent residents it’s a soft release into the main sanctuary. For wild releases it’s an interim rehab area prior to release.
- 4) The Main Permanent Natural Sanctuary.
A natural very large, secure, outdoor facility surrounded by secure and anti-dig, anti-climb fencing that allows any permanent residents to live out their life in a natural habitat with social circles and friends of their own species, giving them the five freedoms of animal welfare while also providing them with the benefit of regularly provided species appropriate nutrition without the need to hunt, although being in a natural setting this still remains a possibility in safety. Being in a natural setting they are able to build their own earths (dens) if they wish, although it includes raised huts for shelter made of natural materials, no-stress capture facility for those who may become injured naturally while in the sanctuary (if the trip over or fight for example) to void the need to set traps for those who remain entirely wild (e.g. those without any neuro issues) since being in the sanctuary does not mean trying to tame them and leaving them to their own freedoms and devices. The Sanctuary also will have different stages of release within, this allows for soft release into the sanctuary for new admissions or those with a disadvantage initially and allows them to be slowly introduced to the rest of the permanent residents. This is also effective for young cubs. Adults and young cubs will have a separate section of the wooded area to avoid conflicts until each are ready to integrate together at the right time. The security fencing and anti-climb/anti-dig means they are safe from infiltration or escape. This project also includes 4K resolution camera system for security and remote monitoring 24/7 and allows the ability to post fox videos of the permanent residents in their natural setting being mischievous, cheeky, adorable, clumsy, playful, funny or just plain lazy.
- 5) Cub Sanctuary and Integration/Transition Area.
For cubs only, the same as the Main Sanctuary but exclusive to cubs up until they are adult sized as adult integration is risky since wild canids will attack cubs who are not their own sometimes. At the end of cub season when safe to do so this can be opened into the main sanctuary or kept separate.
- 6) Neosporosis Sanctuary Section
Entirely contained from the other sanctuary areas, with bird & rodent ingress and poop flinging prevention to eliminate any possibility of cross contamination between sanctuary area due to the nature of neosporisis. This allows otherwise healthy foxes with neosporisis to be saved where vets would normally insist on euthanasia as a result of neospora caninum parasites being shed in faeces in a similar way to toxoplasma gondii but infecting canines. This area has very strict infection control requirement which prevents the spread of the parasite to others in the sanctuary. Measure include non-cage fencing to prevent rodent ingress, bird friendly cover (ie prevent bird getting in but without using netting that they can get caught in and injured, this will prevent bird picking up poop for example and dropping it in a different t part of the sanctuary. Nobody will be allowed to transit between this are and anywhere else, strict in our rules and over boots, wash down, etc.
- 7) Perimeter Fencing
Around all of the sanctuary areas.
To protect the 50 metre x25 metre main sanctuary, 25mx25m cub sanctuary, 14mx10m external rehab area. The contractor included the entire dig, ground work, setting of concrete, burying of anti dig wire, installation of all security fencing, gates, and overhangs, anti climb, anti escape, etc.
Pro-mesh fencing will be around the entire sections of each sanctuary and rehab areas which will be dug into the ground to prevent foxes digging in or out and an internal overhang is integrated on all fence panels to prevent climbing out. Fence panels will be 3.5m height to allow them to be buried a minimum of 500mm into the ground and have a 500mm overhang leaving the finished above ground height of the fence at roughly 2.4 metres which is too high for a fox to jump unaided. This is proper security fencing which lasts indefinitely, not chain link which fails over time.
- 8) Incineration / Cremation Facility
Borne out of the need to dispose of both clinical waste safely and to cremate infectious patients who have either passed during treatment due to life threatening terminal injuries or those (many) collected from the roads and in general after being examined for cause of death and recorded. Zoonotic or contagious patients who have passed or been found dead on roads are required legally to be disposed of under class 1 guidelines which means incineration/cremation so this allows the ability to comply with public health guidelines and allows me to continue to conserve, examine and build up a bigger picture of conditions of those who died in the wild without any limitation of being turned away from vets due to volume which has happened with all but one vet in a this and surrounding towns. Unfortunately clinical waste and cremation is expensive to buy initially.
- 9) Septic Tank Area
(£ no amount allowed for at the moment) - (in the event there is no access to the main water supply drainage on site which is likely due to where the sanctuary and facilities need to be situated.
It should be noted that the whole site itself will be allowed to rewild as much as possible to provide as natural an environment for the permanent resident foxes as possible and conservation efforts will be done to plant native trees, foliage, wildlife friendly nature such as incorporating wildflower bee bombs, to allow the foxes and wildlife such as insects, pollinators and butterflies to flourish. The building itself will not require major footings and will instead only require tiny sections of foundation which the entire timber frame will sit on to enable minimal disruption to the ground, the same goes for the fencing which has been designed to have only a very thin line for setting of the posts meaning absolute minimum disruption. The goal is to touch as little of the existing land and habitats as possible.
(10) Security camera system and 4K patient monitoring camera system.
Exclusively helping foxes puts myself and the patients at great risk because sadly foxes attracts a certain group of individuals who don’t exactly like foxes and think it’s acceptable to persecute and hunt them. As such, they come after people and facilities like me to attempt to destroy the life of myself and the patients. In the words of Chris Packham, “ It seems that if you stick up for foxes, you get your comeuppance from people who still think it's a good idea to kill them). For that reason the camera system is 4K quality around the entire site and capable of crystal clear night vision.
There will also be a patient monitoring system of camera on kennels and rehab areas to record all patient interactions, patient care, patient mischief no doubt and since it too will be 4K capable, it means injuries, close ups, behaviour and fine details can be monitored remotely at any point. It means I can have someone check on or monitor patients while I’m dealing with others or at the vets. It also enables the potential possibility of live streaming of patients for supporters to see or vets to check over remotely to reduce disruption to the patient in 4K high resolution detail. Being in 4K also means far less cameras are needed and one can cover multiple kennels without becoming potato quality so ultimately saves a ton of cost.
It will all be recorded in real time 24 hours a day and accountable. With 4K cameras also being in the permanent sanctuary area it means potentially live streams can be done for supporters to permanent residents being themselves without human interaction.
(11) Power connection to the national grid.
Electrical connection for a new build to connect the hospital to the power grid.
(12) The Land.
There may be the opportunity to get the land at no cost, there is also an option to obtain a specific patch of disused unwanted land for a very low amount in an undisclosed area surrounded by countryside and woodland. This small amount has been included in the fundraiser total.
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