Catégories
Travel with your Cat

Teacher explains how she rescued an injured fox using a mega box of Dreamies cat treats


A teacher who takes in stray cats has told how she rescued an injured fox hiding under her car – reviving the hurt animal with some Dreamies cat treats.

Georgia-Blue Townshend, 28, from Colchester, Essex, had left her house on March 7 to fetch some nappies and toys she’d left in the car for her nine-month-old son, Eden, when she spotted something curled up on her driveway.

Beneath the back of her car, was a whimpering fox.

The secondary school English teacher who lives with her partner, John, 30, and Eden, said: “I was just going out to get the things out of my car when a neighbour told me there was something curled up by the back wheel.



Gillian the fox eating Dreamies

“On a closer look, I realised it was a fox and all I could think was, ‘the poor little thing’ – it definitely looked injured.”

Taking one of her coats from the car, thinking it could be used as a bed for the animal, she crouched down and slowly approached.

She said: “The fox was obviously in pain – she kept looking up at me, not moving. Very slowly, I crept over to get a better look.

“She had ticks all over her eyes and some sort of ulcer on her nose. It was really sad.”

Laying the coat out in front of the scared animal, Georgia-Blue decided to grab a mega box of Dreamies cat treats from her house and offered some to the fox.

“She loved the Dreamies,” Georgia-Blue said. “She seemed to perk up when I offered them.”

Revitalised by the feline treats, the fox began to move.

“After that, a couple of the neighbours and I couldn’t get her to keep still,” Georgia-Blue added. “I think she was frightened because she kept dragging herself into the road.

She added: “One of her back legs didn’t work, it looked like she’d been hit by a car.”

She continued: “I got a towel and very gently laid it over the top of her, from top to toe, and instantly she just laid down. It calmed her right down, she didn’t move.

“So I sat down on the pavement and held her, just stroking her gently while we waited for help to arrive.”

With the aid of neighbours, Georgia-Blue searched on her phone for an appropriate rescue centre.



Gillian the fox

But she was informed that, because the fox seemed tame, it was unlikely that anywhere could rehabilitate her and release her back into the wild.

Georgia-Blue continued: “One rescue organisation advised it was likely that the fox would be put down as she was too friendly and tame.”

They continued searching quickly until, after 10 minutes, they found a local fox rescue centre willing to take her in.

Georgia-Blue said: “It was important to us to find somewhere that wouldn’t put her down but even the centre we found agreed that the fox would never be re-released.”

An expert from D and K Fuzzy Ferrets and Fox Rescue suggested that the fox would live out her days in a sanctuary once her leg was mended.

Georgia-Blue said: “The man from the rescue centre came out to meet us. We’d put the fox into a carrier with the blanket by then but he took her out to assess her condition.

“He told us that the fox was a girl and she looked just under two years old.

“One of my neighbours joked that she should be called Gillian and the name stuck.”



Gillian the fox lay on the pavement

But there was some serious news to take in too.

“The man also said it was possible the fox has toxoplasmosis, a parasite infection that causes abscesses, which would explain why her back leg didn’t work,” Georgia-Blue said.

The disease can impact a fox’s central nervous system, their lungs causing pneumonia, their liver resulting in hepatitis, and their eyes.

Georgia-Blue added: “Unfortunately, it means Gillian can’t be released back into the population because it breaks down all of her instincts and she’s become tame.”

Filled with concern and wanting to offer the fox a loving home, Georgia-Blue requested to adopt Gillian after she was rehabilitated.

She didn’t think settling the fox into her home would be too tricky.

“Integrating her into the family would be just like integrating a new cat,” she said.

“I’ve taken in stray cats before and, right now, I have four cats at home. My most recent stray, Rosie, I brought home during lockdown after I found her outside.

“I’d supervise the fox around my son, but he’s used to being around animals, and we could take her for walks on a lead.”

However, Georgia-Blue was later told Gillian will be transferring to an animal sanctuary in Whitby, North Yorkshire and will live there.

She said: “The wildlife sanctuary has turned out to be the better option so that’s fine, I want what’s best for her.”



Georgia-Blue with partner John and baby Eden

Lockdown restrictions have stopped Georgia-Blue visiting Gillian at the centre after the rescue – but she will have the chance to say farewell.

“The rescue centre is allowing me to be there on the day of her move to say goodbye,” she explained.

“If I ever pass by Whitby, I’ll make sure to pop in and see how she’s doing.”

And the animal-lover said: “I couldn’t help but connect with her when I first saw her – that look in her eye said she needed someone to save her.

“I’m sure there will be more animals in the future in need of a loving home. We have a busy house but there’s always room for another.”