Craig Mcgettrick along with his friend Beccie was helping his neighborhood by cleaning the local garden when they noticed an old mattress lying there, completely out of place. When they lifted it they made a startling discovery.
There was a litter of little animals underneath. Five of them, in fact! Craig and his friend thought that they were puppies, and knew that they had to do something to help the abandoned animals. They placed them carefully into a cardboard box and brought them to a nearby rescue facility, Freshfields Animal Rescue. However, before they did that, the two posted photos of the little guys on Facebook…
The photos quickly spread around the internet, and it wasn’t long before founder of the National Fox Welfare Society Martin Hemmington saw them. “We were contacted by a lovely lady called Beccie through our Facebook Page; Beccie had sent a few photos asking if the babies in the photos were indeed fox cubs,” Martin wrote in a Facebook post.
“We confirmed they certainly were. Beccie advised us that they had been taken to a rescue center in Liverpool mistakenly as puppies, not fox cubs,” Martin continued Who would have thought that these little guys weren’t dogs? It’s a good thing they got the input of an expert before too late!
It wasn’t long before people began wondering why the foxes had been left under the mattress all alone. Paul McDonald, a staff member at Freshfields Animal Rescue, assumed that the family had been using it as a den, and as is common with foxes, the mother left them to fend for herself.
“Vixens leave their cubs all the time whilst they are in the den, and as they get older they’ll begin to explore their surroundings more and more, and become less dependent on mum as they get older,” Paul said in an interview.
Much to Paul’s surprise, though, the foxes clearly weren’t old enough to be left by their mother just yet. Wanting to provide the foxes with the care they desperately needed, Martin contacted Paul to see if he could help by picking them up from the rescue center.
While he was unable to go himself, a volunteer offered to transport them to Paul and once they arrived to his care, he knew exactly what to do. Since the pups were still much too young, he brought them back to the garden where they were discovered in an attempt to reunite them with their mother.
“I didn’t give the cubs any milk in order for them to be hungry so they’d cry out and call for their mum, which they did,” Paul said. “I put them around the same place they were found, as I knew the mum would be looking for them, and she’d be checking the place she last had them.”
Paul put the cubs back into a cardboard box with a warm water bottle and placed it in the garden and proceeded to wait for their mother to show up. Within an hour, she approached the box. At first, she only took one of her cubs with her…
Paul said, “I believe once she’d picked the first one up and knew the others were safe in the box, she waited until it got dark to get the rest as she must not have felt safe moving the cubs in daylight.”
The mother returned a while after to take another cub and then proceeded to continue this pattern until she’d taken all five! “Paul texted me a photo of the empty box,” Martin said in the Facebook post. “All through this, I was letting Beccie and Craig know, and everyone was so pleased that the cubs were back where they belonged … with mum!”
Thankfully this story has a happy ending because of Paul and Martin’s hard work and expertise.