Whilst Anne was out walking with her dog in the early 1983 She found a small hedgehog stuck in a fence. He was too fat to go through and his prickles wouldn’t let him go back. He had been pushing so long in an attempt to free himself that the wire had cut into his body and his leg was bleeding where he had pushed and pushed against the ground.
Anne had in her handbag and a pair of pliers - no surprise to anyone who knows her! - She cut part of the wire and removed the hedgehog. A simple act for her but not so easy when you are a prickly ball living in the wild. As he was bleeding she took him to the vets. She hadn't removed the fence wire from his middle and had a large chunk of the fence with her. On the way to the vets, it struck her that if you are a tiny hedgehog and you got into trouble there is no one to help you. He would have remained there until he either starved or been eaten alive. The vet treated him straight away. When the wire was removed from his body he started bleeding and it became swollen.
The vet praised her for not removing the wire from him and said she was a natural. Her vanity let her think that she was very clever but in fact it was the vet who was very clever. Not only did he save the life of the tiny hog with his medical skills and time but he also found himself a carer. He had flattered her enough to give her the confidence to bring home the little creature and care for him. The injuries weren’t too bad, but he needed time to heal. Anne had grown up surrounded by animals so she agreed to be this little hogs carer. She bought a cage, some food and went to the library to find out more about them (no internet in those days). He recovered well and was released several weeks later. It was a simple thing to do but, it saved one tiny life.
Anne has cared for pretty much all species of British wildlife over the years and every year the numbers of sick and injured birds and animals increases. It's now 30 years later - we have more volunteers to help and more animals to be cared for. What Anne did then, and still does now, makes a real difference to the animals we rescue.
Sometimes we are not successful, but we always try, we are always passionate and our success rate and determination to improve is very good. Many years on we have more cages, more knowledge, more equipment and a wealth of experience, a team of wonderful supporters and volunteers, but the principle is still the same. We save them one at a time.
Most of the injuries sustained by wildlife are at the hand of man, either accidentally or occasionally intentionally, so by helping our wildlife we are redressing the balance ........onwards!