Non-profit organizations that focus on animal welfare and safety have truly sparked hope in struggling creatures. Rescue centers do not only provide homes, but they also bridge relationships. Animals that went through a traumatizing experience need companions to heal their broken hearts. The residents often build connections with their caretakers and, most of the time, with other animals. Through relationships, they are emotionally nurtured — giving assurance that they are loved and not alone. Mingling with others leads them to their soulmate, best friend, sibling, and partner in crime, regardless of their species. It’s touching to witness how an animal becomes jolly and lively after gaining a special someone. A second chance in life does not frequently happen, but sanctuaries have made that possible for rescued animals.
Most of the residents crave a family, especially the young orphaned ones. They may have been separated from their parents at a young age due to various circumstances. Human caretakers often act as their parents — teaching them everything about survival. It’s vital to help them learn how to fend for themselves in preparation for their release or rehoming. However, it can get challenging, especially when the animal can be aloof, uncooperative, or aggressive. The team would be lucky if an adult animal would take a young one under its care. Thankfully, in Newhouse Wildlife Rescue, a female fox willingly took in three kits and became their adoptive mom.
Hope certainly lives up to her name, as she gave orphaned kits a chance to receive maternal care. Newhouse Wildlife Rescue played a huge role in introducing the four of them to one another. Their mission to provide help to injured and orphaned wildlife formed an adorable new family. “Hope was found by the road and brought to us by animal control. She was in a really rough state. She ended up developing something called Canine Vestibular Disease,” Jane Newhouse, director of the wildlife rescue, explained. Due to her condition, Hope always looks unbalanced whenever she stands up. Nevertheless, she showed incredible strength and has been with the rescue center for six months. The female fox has evident health progress, but she hasn’t interacted with other foxes for so long.
She was alone until three fox kits arrived at the rescue center. Little did she know that she would meet her future babies soon. The baby foxes had different mothers, but they were all orphans. Although challenging, Jane’s team made efforts to raise all of them. “It’s difficult to teach baby foxes how to fox without an adult. If they’re too used to people, we release them, they’re gonna be approaching people and scaring people,” Jane said. They couldn’t risk the future of the fox kits in the wild. After quarantine, the three foxes were introduced to each other — spending time together in an enclosure close to Hope. Jane had no plans of familiarizing the foxes with one another until the four of them gave her signs. Turns out, Hope was the answer all along.
The wildlife rescue director was hesitant due to the possibility of Hope acting defensively. She might end up hurting one or all of the kits. However, Jane couldn’t ignore their actions — the fox kits and Hope were both trying to dig a way to access their respective enclosures. Clearly, they were all longing for some connection. Hope was alone for a long time, and the fox kits were craving maternal presence. “I eventually decided to do it. I actually put a muzzle on Hope during the initial introduction,” Jane explained. She was still wary, so she had to opt for precautionary measures. “There was no growling, there was no fear, and all the kits immediately were excited,” she added.
It was amazing how all of them knew they needed each other. Newhouse Wildlife Rescue was their invisible string — they were meant to be a family. Since their introduction, Hope was always with the three kits. She did a great job with filling the position of a mother. The rescue center found it challenging to teach fox survival until Hope helped them fulfill that task. She even taught them to be cautious of human presence. “The kits within three days became very fearful of us. Now when we walk outside towards the enclosure, they instantly hide, which is awesome,” Jane said. It was an important fox survival lesson — the kits need to learn the dangers they might encounter in the wild, including humans.
With her impressive maternal skills, Jane thinks that Hope was a mom before. Perhaps the kits reminded her of the family she had before her incident. Jane has a lot of expectations for the fox family’s future. She also hopes that all four of them will be released together. They can continue being a family in their natural habitat — protecting and loving each other. Watch their beautiful story below, and if you want more updates, you can follow the wildlife rescue’s Instagram page.