Published: 16:30, 30 March 2014
A couple who devoted the last 12 years of their lives to rescuing injured and sick wildlife have been forced to had to close the centre they ran from home.
Animal lovers Tanya and Shane Alvis set up Headcorn Hedgehog and Small Wildlife Rescue at their terraced home in Lenham Road, Headcorn, to take taking in animals ranging from baby birds and rabbits to hedgehogs and even owls.
They spent months painstakingly hand feeding hundreds of them, and nursing them back to health, but due to family illness and other pressures they have now reluctantly had to give away all the creatures in their care.
Mrs Alvis is undergoing tests to determine if she has coeliac disease, and also now home schools their eldest son Christopher, 12, who is autistic. Husband Shane, who is retired, now suffers with severe arthritis.
Mrs Alvis said: “It is just too much for us to take on. We have had to close everything down.
“It is really sad, it really is. Sometimes I’d be watching TV in the evenings, bottle feeding a hedgehog or baby rabbit and now I won’t be. And people are still ringing us up after rescuing things, although we are still giving advice over the phone.
“We simply can’t take them in any more.”
The centre they took in 312 rescues last year, including barn owls, jackdaws and hedgehogs.
After the last animal was rehomed on Wednesday, they now have just their pet cat and hedgehogs Gogo, who has three legs, Garlic, who suffers from chest infections, so can’t be released into the wild, and Folly, who is elderly with cataracts.
The couple still give phone advice, and will can pass on people details of local vets and other rescue centres.
“You can take wildlife to a local vet, as they have a duty of care to wildlife. We have some brilliant vets in this area who have been fantastic over the years,” said Mrs Alvis.
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