top of page

the facilities

current facilities

The Fox Hospital clinic is small and needs to expand urgently.    

The current setup (some of which shown right, and seen on many stories regularly on the instagram page) can only house up to 26 recovering adult foxes and 4 newborn orphaned litters at any one time, or 54 young recovering cubs only or a combination between the two. It is nowhere near big enough for the additional demand of foxes needing help and patients are having to be turned away. 

 

The clinic currently only has: 

  • Shor-Line and Ken Kage/Burtons Veterinary Stainless Steel medical recovery kennels

  • Plaztek Polypropylene Veterinary Recovery Kennels,

  • Medical Prep and remedy area

  • Food Prep area

  • Microscopy micro lab (for parasitology)

  • Wash Area / Veterinary Tub Table for patient cleaning

  • NMES (Neuro Muscular Electrical Stimulation and general mobility physio equipment used under direction of veterinary physiotherapist)

  • Dry treadmill for mobility rehab patients

  • Indoor forced physio* / play enclosure

  • Outdoor forced physio* and recovery enclosures

*forced physio means areas setup to provide self physiotherapy outside of assisted physio sessions even though the patient doesn't know it - so this includes the enclosurs setup with inclines/declines, climbing frames, different terrains and floor materials (soft and hard, deep and shallow) multiple levels, tunnels, low arches to force crouch walks, small short gaps to jump, ground obstacles like branches to simulate pole stepping, etc.  Essentially intentional use of muscle groups to strengthen core and targeted muscle groups during recovery - a deliberate thought out functional space.

planned facilities (see below and reason for fundraiser)

The Fox Hospital has plans drawn for a new huge facility which will be a RCVS registered, dedicated hospital facility specifically for sick, injured and disabled wild red foxes needing basic or intensive care.  The below images are scale, accurate 3D renders of some of the architectural plans (albeit with some software limitations on decor, lighting, skylights and indoor plants and some deliberate omissions for specialist equipment, rooms and areas).

The Fox Hospital will take in patients recovering and being treated for all types of sickness and injury pre and post surgery, disabled patients, those needing rehab or anyone needing safety until release.  The Fox Hospital will also be able to assist other rescues and sanctuaries with specialist cases or special patients, unusual cases or specific conditions of any kind as well as aid those who are at capacity or in difficult situations since the sanctuary will have many acres of external space with segregation areas, as well as large open areas, and multiple facilities detailed partly and briefly below.

 

The entire hospital is flooded with natural daylight from large skylight ceilings in all areas to enable patients to maintain a healthy natural circadian rhythm and cellular healing during recovery.  In addition, for any temporarily indoor patients recovering in veterinary recovery kennels, all recovery kennels are earthed to enable proper patient grounding which helps healing, recovery and free electron exchange among other benefits. 

 

Main Hospital

  • for pre/post-surgery and/or recovery - 412 ground floor special veterinary recovery kennels (spread across 7 wards, main ward, neonatal, cub, quarantine, physiotherapy, and two post surgery wards) with individual underfloor temperature controlled heating, ventilation/extraction, individual day/night/UV infection control lighting and electrics for veterinary equipment in every individual kennel, plus large walk in kennels for those on forced bed rest (e.g. needing a medically clean environment, post-surgery, wound healing or quarantine).

  • 2 veterinary equipped exam and surgery rooms with v-top surgery tables, surgical lighting, veterinary tub tables for bathing or dental surgery, (one for Clean Ward, one for Quarantine).

  • 2 surgical prep anaesthesia rooms for pre-surgical preparation.

  • 2 Triage rooms.

  • 2 veterinary hands free pre-surgery scrub prep room, plus a separate staff shower room and recoup room.

  • 7 large separate hospital wards (Main Clean Recovery Ward; Neonatal Ward; Cub Ward with indoor rehab and play area; a dedicated large mobility physio ward with hydrotherapy, specialist healing room and gait analysis area; and an Isolated Quarantine Ward with its own fully equipped Quarantine Surgery Room and Decontamination Area).

  • Radiography room for on-site x-rays.

  • Small micro lab with lab equipment for running in-house bloods and urine analysis by trained veterinary individuals and an in-house parasitology microscopy area for onsite examination of faecal samples.

  • a 4k UHD camera patient monitoring system and 4k security cameras with various undisclosed security measures inside and out with a screen wall cctv control room.

  • Access control system for controlling/restricting specific areas and site security with various security clearance levels.

  • Dedicated food prep room and protected medical remedies prep room. 

  • a commercial laundry area.

  • UV decontamination equipment throughout.

Physiotherapy Area

  • a 4k UHD camera patient monitoring system and 4k security cameras with various undisclosed security measures linking back to the main cctv control room.

  • Access control system for controlling/restricting specific areas and site security with various security clearance levels.

  • Mobility Physio Ward:

    • Dedicated entirely to a Mobility & Physio Ward for disabled, amputee or immobile patient rehabilitation with its own separate  hydrotherapy, specialist equipment therapy treatment room and large physio areas for a locum veterinary physiotherapist and mobility veterinary surgeon to utilise on site, including a gait and mobility analysis area.

    • Various equipment for use during physio, including PEMF, NMES, MWO, Laser, Rife, Mobility Aids, Prosthetic / Wheels interaction, gait analysis, etc.

    • ​with 20 special veterinary recovery kennels with individual underfloor temperature controlled heating, ventilation/extraction, individual day/night/UV infection control lighting and electrics for veterinary equipment, plus 2 walk in kennels with integrated underfloor heated and lit recovery kennels.

    • Access to large external rehabilitation area exclusively for use by those under mobility physiotherapy, separate from all other patients or residents with various terrain, equipment, flooring types, inclines, declines, obstacles, wheelchair area, etc allowing a veterinary physiotherapist to be able to work entirely contained with both indoor and outdoor facilities for multiple physio patients.

    • Mobile veterinary exam table which can be moved throughout the entire hospital if required.

  • Dedicated Cub Suite:

    • ​in addition to the newborns cub ward in the main hospital, the much larger dedicated secondary cub ward has direct access from the newborn ward and has an additional 44 special veterinary recovery kennels with individual underfloor temperature controlled heating, ventilation/extraction, individual day/night/UV infection control lighting and electrics for veterinary equipment, plus 2 walk in kennels with integrated underfloor heated and lit recovery kennels. 

    • For non-zoonotic/non-contagious patients, a large indoor supervised play area filled with all natural materials (bark, hay, dead and discarded branches and tree stumps collected from woods naturally uprooted or dead [never taken from live trees], rocks, fox/canine-safe plants, etc. For those still recovering and not quite ready to integrate into the outdoor cub area.

    • Direct access to the cubs only outdoor sanctuary for larger or older cubs. This is in addition to the outdoor play area for non-infectious young cubs which is directly attached to the newborn and younglings ward.

    • Dedicated veterinary wash tube table for mucky mischievous cubs.

General / Outdoors:

  • Dedicated outdoor physio area specific for mobility patients, including a separate natural rehab area as briefly described above, and a soft flat area for temporary wheeled or prosthetic patients.

  • 3 large natural sanctuaries spanning multiple acres for general adults, cubs or quarantine patients, with segregated areas to manage and separate those who don't get along.  Also includes 'soft release' enclosures and separation areas for slow and safe integration of new residents into the sanctuary rather than sending new patients or residents straight into the existing groups allowing proper management of integration.  Each sanctuary has its own unique features, dens, shelters, natural environments, etc, too many to list.

  • with shallow flowing natural ultra pond area, and natural but accessible earth dens to maximise natural behaviour. 

  • Natural catch den hide areas for containing safely and stress-free even the most elusive foxes needing checkups or medical care without needing to trap - a feature that many sanctuaries overlook or forget.

  • a decompression areas for pre-release or transiting patients,

  • outdoor rehabilitation and play areas for disabled patients.

  • soft play rubber 'tarmac' area for wheeled patients rehab and play.

  • Large dry sheltered area with open kennels / bed areas for permanent residents to take shelter from weather freely.

  • an incineration facility for class one disposal.

  • natural hides with stress-free capture areas to negate the need to trap anyone needing follow-up or care - a feature that many sanctuaries overlook or forget.

  • and more.


 

Patient Transfers

The Fox Hospital and Sanctuary will accept patients from any veterinary practice, rescue, sanctuary or rehabber.  All patients/foxes transferred from any other rescue, rehabber or veterinary practice are initially brought in through the quarantine ward with its own separate quarantine entrance and self contained area separate to the main hospital until confirmation of no parasites, zoonotic or contagious conditions by way of running in-house faecal samples, skin samples and either in-house or lab sent blood testing.  This protects the entire hospital, sanctuary, the existing patients or residents from potential infection and allows for proper infection control through the quarantine area.  It also provides a facility for locum veterinary professionals to be able to utilise facilities where possible, practical and within RCVS guidance (examples of reason would be a vet who wishes to carry out charity work or similar but perhaps are under strict limitations at the practice they work at day to day, or for those who wish to learn about foxes, their behaviour, how to treat them in a veterinary environment safely but their current practice policy does not allow or get much call for wildlife). 

Such a project in setting up a proper sanctuary and veterinary standard facility such as this of this magnitude costs a significant amount of money and this is where the large fundraising comes in.  Veterinary equipment, fencing and groundwork and the building itself makes up the majority of the funds needed, with specialist equipment also being a significant chunk.  This isn't a small project but it is a vitally needed one. 

MainWard_edited.jpg

main ward

for general non-contagious patients of all injury types.  These are generally those recovering from surgery, with wounds of all types, those with breaks, immune system disorders, disabling injuries, general health concerns, neurological problems, those needing indoor clean environment physiotherapy or rehabilitation, etc.

newborn cubs only ward

for cubs ranging from newborn to juvenile, the ward has its own dedicated outdoor natural play area for orphaned cubs preparing for release or not quite ready to go into the cub sanctuary or decompression areas, yet need exercise, mental nourishment and controlled socialising. 

CubWard_edited.jpg
Quarantine_edited.jpg

quarantine ward

a calm, quiet ward for zoonotic or contagious patients including parvovirus kennels.  This ward is self contained, jet-washable and used for patients suffering from any form of contagious or zoonotic health condition.  This can include heavy parasite infestation (fleas, ticks, worms, mites), neosporosis, dermatophytosis (e.g. ringworm), parvovirus (not had any cases yet but there are two special parvovirus specific kennels in the ward just in case in addition to the normal quarantine kennels.  

older cubs ward

for older cubs above 6 weeks from, the ward has its own dedicated large supervised outdoor natural play area for orphaned cubs preparing for release or not quite ready to go into the cub sanctuary or decompression areas, yet need exercise, mental nourishment and controlled socialising.  The ward also has a supervised indoor natural play area with all natural materials for non-zoonotic patients to integrate and socialise pending release or controlled grouping of cubs for soft release groups.

OlderCubsWard2_edited.jpg
PhysioWard1_edited.jpg

physiotherapy ward

incorporating a large physio area for use by a locum veterinary physiotherapist, a dedicated room for electrical and electronic physio therapy equipment (NMES, PEMF, Laser, etc) and a dedicated hydrotherapy room for rare cases of patients who would benefit and who are tolerant of such therapy on a case by case basis. The ward also incorporates two gait analysis alleys with 4k camera recording and adjustable obstacles for controlled linear analysis by a veterinary physiotherapist. 

exam | surgery | wash

two wash/exam/surgery rooms (one facilitating the main and cub wards and one self contained in the quarantine area)

QuarantineWash_edited.jpg
Image by Charles Jackson

main sanctuary

for any of the permanently disabled, non-contagious foxes above 1 year of age or adult sized.

cubs only sanctuary

for cubs who are too small to integrate directly with the adults just yet, preventing any negative interactions or at risk injuries.

'soft release' pens within the cub sanctuary for gradual and safe integration.

With a separate infant cub area with double fence to prevent reach through injuries.

Image by Katerina Bartosova
Image by Hans Veth

neosporisis sanctuary

Self-contained with strict and specific infection control measures in place to segregate the neosporosis patients protecting the rest of the residents and prevent any faecal transfer with overhead avian-friendly insect netting (preventing any birds flying in or being caught in netting), solid toughned glass fencing between to prevent faecal transfer in the event the foxes are their weird selves flinging their freshly made poop nuggets around.  Ordinarily neosporisis cases would outright be euthanised by most veterinary practices purely based on the potential for the parasite to pass its oocysts in faecal matter.  Specific measures in place for infection control/prevention allows an otherwise healthy patient (case by case), albeit previously exposed to the neospora caninum parasite (and confirmed recovered and inactive by blood serology) to live out their life in safety and unable to infect the wild population or the temporary or permanent residents while still allowing them all the full freedom needs.  These cases are very rare, but can occur and the fox hospital is dedicated to giving all patients a chance if they are able to recover.  Neosporisis differs from Toxoplasmosis only in that it completes its life cycle in canines, rather than felines, it is otherwise virtually identical clinically and most patients who have been exposed can be asymptomatic or appear 'normal' since toxoplasmosis in foxes is often misunderstood or misinterpreted.   

outdoor rehab area

An outdoor secured area directly in view from the hospital main ward for patients requiring controlled exercise post-surgery, rehabilitation post-injury or decompression / transition to one of the main permanent sanctuary areas.  Incorporates multi-terrain, Inclines, declines, climbing areas of natural materials (tree stumps, rocks, large branches), natural ground including grass, natural play bark, gravel, basic pumped water feature with fresh water supply for drinking, bed boxes, hide area, tunnels, non-toxic natural plants for cover, play, destress, hiding, forced movement, general mental stimulation, safe sleeping area for those requiring external acclimatisation before release, fox proof fencing and anti-dig/climb/escape to protect other sanctuary residents, rain and wind cover, no possible hot floor areas that would cause burns in summer heat (e.g. no paving stones), patient monitoring cameras accessible remotely or on site.  The design shown here has been reworked entirely and is now much larger than shown.

There is also (not shown) a large padded rubber playground floored specific area for temporarily wheeled or orthopaedics / prosthesis patients during physiotherapy.

OutdoorRehab_edited.jpg
Photo 19-04-2021, 22 59 56 (3).jpg

Arwen
a previous patient.

picture taken weeks after release

decompression area

A natural environment outdoor rehabilitation area to allow an ease of transition.  For patients who are transitioning between hospital recovery and release or between recovery and integration into the main sanctuary.

soft integration areas

In most cases you cannot simply put a new intake straight in with existing residents or recovering patients.  I know some places put foxes transferred from other rescues straight in with existing residents but I don't do that here, unfortunately not every rescue or rehabber is thorough with testing and some may miss signs of zoonotic or contagious conditions.  Every fox who is transferred to this facility who simply requires sanctuary is triaged upon intake, and once confirmed non-contagious, they go into the soft interaction area of the relevant sanctuary to interact safely before going in fully or has their own separate area depending on their behaviour and who they bond with. 

Photo 19-04-2021, 18 39 46 (2).jpg
Med&Food_Prep_edited.jpg

medical & feeding prep

Large areas specifically for preparing medication or food for the patients in bulk to speed up the process.  This area has been completely redesigned on the plans and differs from that shown here.  The new design is much larger and incorporates huge industrial fridge and freezers, dedicated commercial kitchen area for food prep and separate locked medical prep and remedy area. 

incinerate | cremate | memorial

Incineration facility for medical/biological class 1 waste or cremation of those deceased, collected and examined from road traffic collisions and people's gardens.  Part of the work I do includes retrieving deceased foxes from roads or gardens to examine and try and determine cause of death.  Even those hit by vehicles often have an underlying issue.  It has allowed me to find common conditions and hot spots in certain areas.  Sadly, burying isn't an option, and many are zoonotic so cremation is the only way in these cases.

For those who pass without any contagious or zoonotic diseases they will be buried and a tree planted as a headstone allowing their physical form to go back to the earth naturally and life in the tree to continue.  There may be an option later to sponsor a tree in memory. 

Office_edited.jpg

general patient admin

All the important stuff that makes me want to stick pins in my eyes because I have a short attention span but is necessary.  Keeping patient records up to date, computery stuff, ordering supplies, frying brain cells, those kind of matters.

UHD patient monitoring

4K UHD (ultra high definition) resolution camera monitoring system in all areas to monitor patients in the wards, sanctuaries, during surgery and rehab areas.   Patient cameras on kennels allow for remote monitoring at all times, particularly vulnerable or timid patients in ultra HD detail.

Photo 13-04-2021, 00 30 58.jpg
ExamWash_edited.jpg

other facilities

  • veterinary laundry area - two commercial 36kg veterinary, gravity drain, sluice washers and two commercial 36kg dryers to keep up with the volume and speed of infection control washing of bedding, scrubs and towels.  

  • WC

  • Separate staff/volunteer shower wet room

  • general supplies storage Area

  • Separate veterinary/medical specific commercial washer and dryer for washing of clinical clothing only. 

future aims

  • further expansion as the sanctuary grows

  • continue to provide support to veterinary practices and mutual relationships with veterinary professionals to take on the patients' aftercare preventing their need to euthanise based on policy.

  • continue to support other sanctuaries, rescues and rehabbers in accepting patients from them.

  • continue to provide education based social media posts helping rescuers, rehabbers and members of the public

  • outreach programmes 

Photo 28-03-2020, 09 18 38.jpg
bottom of page