1. ITV Report

RSPCA renews warning to homeowners following fox rescue

A fox was found stuck in a football goal in a back garden Photo: RSPCA

A fox, which was found injured in a back garden in East Sussex, has prompted an animal recuse charity to call on homeowners to pack sports equipment away after use.

The RSPCA was called to a back garden in Hove when the wild animal had become tangled in a football goal.

The fox was caught by his back legs but was freed by RSPCA officer, Claire Goddard.

As a result of his injuries, his tail had to be amputated.

The fox is now at RSPCA Mallydams wildlife rehabilitation centre in Hastings - where it is hoped he will make a full recovery.

“This little fox was lucky, he could easily have suffered fatal injuries or, if not spotted, died a slow and painful death tangled in the net.

“That’s why it’s so important that netting isn’t left unattended. Sport nets like football goals are often set up and left unattended in gardens and parks with many people not realising they can be death traps for wildlife.

“It is an extremely frightening experience for any animal but particularly for wildlife as they are so wary of human contact.

“The problem is so easily avoidable by ensuring nets are removed and stored, or taken home after a game of football and any discarded netting is safely placed in a bin.

"I would ask anyone with a net in their garden to please consider the consequences for animals and birds and make frequent checks so that any trapped wildlife may be freed.”

– RSPCA ACO, Claire Goddard

Other forms of garden netting, like pond or fruit netting, can be a real hazard to wild animals like hedgehogs and the RSPCA recommends replacing these with solid metal mesh.

If you spot a trapped animal you can call the RSPCA national cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.