Craig Mcgettrick was working a typical garbage removal job in a garden in England when they made a surprising discovery. They found five abandoned puppies in the garden under an old mattress and were unsure of what to do with them. They decided to take them to a local shelter but were later informed that the abandoned puppies were something else entirely.
Mcgettrick had posted the photos on his Facebook page. Someone saw them and contacted the National Fox Welfare Society. Martin Hemmington, the founder of the society, wrote on their Facebook page “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.”
“We confirmed they certainly were,” Hemmington continued, “Beccie advised us that they had been taken to a rescue center in Liverpool mistakenly as puppies, not fox cubs.” Hemmington then went about contacting the shelter to ensure that the fox cubs, which had been mistaken for abandoned puppies, could be returned to their home.
Paul McDonald, who works for the Freshfields Animal Rescue and is known as the “Fox Man” for his expert knowledge of the animals, worked with Hemmington to return the animals to the wild.
Paul McDonald told the Dodo, “Fox cubs don’t initially look like foxes when they are cubs, so it’s common for people to mistake them for dog puppies.”
McDonald continued, explaining that fox cubs “are brown in color as opposed to the red, ginger color of adults,” thus leading to their misidentification as abandoned puppies.
McDonald explained that the mother fox had most likely been using the area under the discarded mattress as a den, saying “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.”
Hemmington contacted McDonald and arranged to have the fox cubs delivered so that they could be returned to their den by McDonald and the mother could find them.
Hemmington wrote in the Facebook post that McDonald had “placed the fox cubs down in the garden in a box with a blanket and a hot water bottle. We knew the cubs would be hungry and this was done deliberately in the hope they would start calling out of hunger.”
Eventually, McDonald observed the mother returning and taking one of the cubs, telling the Dodo: “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.”
McDonald confirmed to Hemmington that all of the fox cubs had been taken by the mother, and even sent a video of the mother returning and taking the cubs. Hemmington wrote in his Facebook post: “It really is heartwarming to know that this combined teamwork reunited five fox cubs, that were only days old, with their vixen mother. Well done everyone and thank you.”
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