the facilities

current facilities

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

The current setup (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 Burtons Veterinary Stainless Steel medical recovery kennels

  • Plaztek Polypropylene Veterinary Recovery Kennels,

  • Medical Prep area

  • Food Prep area

  • Dry treadmill for mobility rehab patients

  • Microscopy (parasitology)

  • Wash Area / Veterinary Tub Table for patient cleaning.

  • NMES (NeuroMuscular Electrical Stimulation and general mobility physio equipment used under direction of veterinary physiotherapist.

planned facilities (see below and reason for fundraiser)

The Fox Hospital will be a RCVS registered, dedicated hospital facility specifically for sick, injured, physically or mentally disabled wild red foxes needing basic or intensive care.  The below images are scale, accurate 3D renders of the architectural plans (albeit with some software limitations on decor, lighting and indoor plants).

The Fox Hospital, for 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, has:

  • 80 stainless steel industry standard veterinary recovery kennels for those on force bed rest (e.g. needing a medically clean environment, post-surgery, wound healing or quarantine),

  • 2 exam and surgery rooms,

  • 3 hospital wards for general, cub or contagious patients,

  • 3 natural sanctuaries for general, cub or contagious patients,

  • decompression areas for pre-release patients,

  • outdoor rehabilitation and play areas,

  • 4k UHD patient monitoring system,

  • veterinary laundry area, and

  • incineration facility. 

 

More details are below.

All patients and foxes transferred from any other rescues, rehabbers or veterinary practices are initially quarantines until confirmation of no parasites, zoonotic or contagious conditions to protect the existing patients or residents.  It also would provide 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 wildlife 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 costs a significant amount of money and this is where the large fundraiser comes in.  Veterinary equipment, fencing and groundwork and the building itself makes up the majority of the funds needed.

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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.

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. 

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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.  

exam | surgery | wash

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

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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.

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.  Ordinarily neosporisis cases would outright be euthanised by most veterinary practices.  This allows an otherwise healthy patient, albeit previously exposed to the neospora caninum parasite to live out their life in safety and unable to infect the wild population or the permanet residents while still allowing them full freedoms.  These cases are rare, but do occur.  Neosporisis differs from Toxoplasmosis only in that it completes its life cycle in canines, rather than felines, it is otherwise virtually identical clinically. 

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 by monitor or phone app.

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Arwen
a previous patient.

picture taken weeks after release by
L. Starkey Nature Photography

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. 

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medical & feeding prep

Large areas specifically for preparing medication or food for the patients in bulk to speed up the process.  The facility is a RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) registered veterinary premises.  This allows veterinary surgeons, and/or veterinary nurses to carry out any duties here and for medication to be administered under veterinary direction without any issues.  It also means The Fox Hospital is inspected by RCVS regularly.

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. 

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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.

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other facilities

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

  • WC

  • general supplies storage Area 

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

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