Tunbridge Wells rescue centre Folly needs animal ambulance

Hedgehog 2

FOLLY Wildlife Rescue near Tunbridge Wells has launched an appeal to raise money for a wildlife ambulance to collect injured animals.

The centre, in Broadwater Forest, treats more than 3,500 hedgehogs, birds and other creatures every year, returning around 70 per cent of them to the wild.

They are often brought in by concerned residents but now the charity is trying to raise £10,000 to buy a vehicle and adapt it to avoid what it calls a ‘very major problem’.

Annette Risley, Co-Founder of Folly Wildlife Rescue, said: ‘A lot of people find themselves with a casualty and haven’t got transport or there are many vets who phone with animals and we need to get them to us.’

Veterinary practices often do not possess the specialist knowledge or facilities to care for wildlife or they are so busy that they cannot spare the staff to bring them to Folly.

The centre has access to 50 volunteer collection drivers across the region,who use their own cars to pick up animals.

But most of them have full-time jobs and are only available in the evenings or at weekends.

It uses up valuable time to find a volunteer who is in a position to act, as well as tying up the emergency phone line.

Ms Risley added: ‘We are fundraising to buy a vehicle that we can make into a wildlife ambulance so can go out and pick up casualties quicker.

‘A lot of members of the public bring animals to us which is super but there are also people who can’t bring them in.

Time is crucial to stop the animals becoming dehydrated, going into shock or developing infections. ‘Getting the injured animal to us quickly is much better for the animal.’

The ambulance would feature a cab ventilator and flashing beacon, and be equipped with specialist rescue tools such as nets, stretchers, bolt cutters and waders.

To make a donation, go to www.wildcrowd.org/campaigns/detail/62/ambulance-for-folly-wildlife-rescue

PICTURE: HEDGEHOG HAVEN: Folly takes in more than 3,500 animals a year

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