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Personnel aboard HMS Defender were surprised to discover a nest containing two baby pigeons aboard their sailing ship. We were happy to offer advice to the concerned crew on how to keep the fledglings alive using the limited resources available for the remaining 5-day trip. Once HMS Defender was safely docked back in Portsmouth, the stowaway squabs were eventually brought to us, where they were treated to a meal and given a comfy warm bed. They will be in our care until they are able to be released. We would like to thank The Happy Hedgehog Rescue in Yately and the lovely personnel on board HMS Defender who went out of their way to ensure the young pigeons made it safely to dry land.
It's the spring baby season - the busiest time of the year for our animal care team. The pressure is on as we have had to suspend all animal care volunteering at the Hospital. Our amazing staff are doing a great job keeping the Hospital open, and are doing all they can to raise funds to support day-to-day running costs. Cancelled and postponed outreach work means we can not spread awareness about the seasonal plights faced for wildlife- our supporters and donors are needed more than ever. We thank everyone who can help with donations, patient foods and hospital supplies. If you would like to support our Summer Care Appeal then please consider making a donation through our Aviva Community Fund campaign page.
PATIENTS UP 33%
Sadly in 2019, hedgehog patient numbers increased by 33% to over 950. During the year 389 healthy hedgehogs were released while hundreds more that were still underweight remained in our care over winter for release in 2020. Where possible, we try to release hedgehogs back to the area from which they originally came. You can give hedgehogs a helping hand in your area by purchasing our Hedgehog Care retail pack containing a hedgehog house, information booklet, food, and hedgehog pathway signs. See our Online Shop.
Let's all be wildlife aware in our gardens. Take care with garden strimmers - every spring we receive hedgehogs with terrible strimmer wounds; this one needed stitches to a painful head wound and recuperation care. If you are planning to strim an overgrown area, please check it for sleeping hedgehogs before you start - better still leave a wild part in your garden as a wildlife habitat. To avoid destroying bird nests, eggs or chicks, resist cutting trees and shrubs during bird nesting season - from March to July, and by putting a bell on a pet cat's collar you can help to save thousands of fledglings from cat attack.
IN THE GARDEN
Early in 2020 Stage 2 of our Big Build improvement programme saw the completion of 5 new water bird enclosures and 2 general enclosures. Many thanks to all who fund-raised and donated, and to those who helped build and paint the enclosures. Special thanks go to The Hatcher Animal Welfare Trust, The Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust and The Michael & Shirley Hunt Trust. Water bird patients are already recuperating in the spacious units and using the water pools for swimming, preening and waterproofing feathers before they are ready for release into suitable wild habitats.
IS A KILLER
We are seeing a disturbing increase in sea and water bird casualties suffering from pollution-related injuries. It is distressing to see needless suffering caused by discarded fishing hooks, line entanglement, and poisonings from plastics and oil spills. Some recent bird admissions have had terrible injuries from discarded fishing line or fishing hooks through their feet and were dying a cruel death from starvation or infection. Despite our best efforts most do not recover.
A LIFE OF
It is with great sadness and respect that we pay tribute to the passing of Dennis Fenter MBE, our Founder. Dennis passed away peacefully in his sleep in July 2019. We are all incredibly proud of his work and achievements helping injured wildlife and will build on his legacy to ensure that his passion and dedication to wildlife welfare continues into the future. 2021 will be a special anniversary year to celebrate his work and 50 years of wildlife care. We aim to raise funds for a new patient admissions and quarantine building to be named in Dennis' honour.
We delighted to have opened our new charity shop in Mengham, Hayling Island. We receive a number of patients from the area and the shop will generate vital regular income to support the Hospital’s running costs and be a focal point for community awareness of wildlife welfare. We are in need of good quality stock and regular volunteers to help make the shop a success. Do let us know if you can help.
CHARITY SHOP OPEN
2021 - A SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY YEAR TO PAY TRIBUTE TO OUR FOUNDER