The Sidlesham charity expects to admit over 200 hedgehogs, as well as hundreds of other seasonal wildlife casualties, by the end of the season.
Fundraising manager Asha Park said: “Despite the continued challenges we faced last year with the ongoing effects of coronavirus restrictions, bird flu, and a drop in direct funding due to charity shop closures, we are pleased to report that the hospital treated over 3,200 patients in 2021 and successfully released hundreds of healthy animals back to their natural habitats.
“Habitat loss, the effects of climate change, environmental damage and the sustained pressure on UK wildlife are resulting in an increase in wildlife casualties.
“The increased demand for our services urgently highlights the need for us to expand and improve our facilities so we can continue to provide effective treatment to patients and increase their chances of survival.
“Currently, our hospital does not have the necessary veterinary facilities to effectively treat casualties.”
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The hospital has recently opened a new treatment room – and has also received planning permission and funding to start construction of a patient admission building, complete with veterinary facilities and care equipment.
Asha said: “With the implementation of an on-site wildlife veterinary surgeon and nurse we will provide a prompt on-site veterinary diagnosis and treatment service for wildlife casualties.
“We aim to assist wildlife casualties admitted from the public, RSPCA inspectors, wildlife police officers and veterinary clinics.
“With successful treatment and rehabilitation, we will release hundreds of healthy wild animals back to their natural habitats, increase local biodiversity and ensure local habitats continue to thrive with healthy wildlife.
“This milestone project will make a real and lasting difference to wildlife in our care, their chances of survival and improve our environmental performance.
“Through the use of sustainable materials, low carbon energy sources, and rainwater harvesting we aim for it to be a carbon-neutral building.”
The charity hopes to start construction on the patient admission building this spring.
Following reports of avian influenza in the area the hospital has taken the difficult decision to suspend all bird admissions until further notice.
The hospital advises anyone who comes across sick or injured birds to call their local vet.
For more information visit www.brentlodge.org.
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