RSPCA inspector Sandy Barlow was summoned to an Aldershot, England, home to rescue a fox that had gotten its back legs entangled in a soccer net left out in the yard. Photo courtesy of the RSPCA
Aug. 20 (UPI) -- An animal rescuer was summoned to a house in Britain to rescue a fox that had become entangled in a soccer net left out in the home's yard.
The RSPCA said inspector Sandy Barlow responded to a home in Aldershot, Hampshire, England, after the homeowners called the organization to report a fox's back legs were entangled in their soccer net.
"The poor animal's back legs were completely entangled -- he would never have escaped without help. The worried householders had first tried to cut away the netting with garden shears, but the fox was understandably snappy, so they decided it would be best to ask for our help," Barlow said in a news release.
Barlow was able to calm the fox by placing a towel over the animal's head.
"This gave me some breathing space to approach him and gently hold him immobile while I cut through the netting, which was wrapped really tightly around his lower legs," Barlow said
"Luckily, I was able to free him quite quickly and he appeared unharmed by his ordeal. After spending a few moments getting his bearings, he trotted off into the undergrowth," Barlow said.
The RSPCA said the incident should serve as a reminder to homeowners to take down sports nets that aren't in use.
"The RSPCA receives hundreds of calls every year to rescue wildlife -- and foxes in particular -- which have become tangled in netting on sporting equipment or garden nets," Barlow said. "Football and other types of netting may be fun for humans, but can be very dangerous for wild animals if they are left out overnight.
"We would urge those using sports netting to remove and store all nets after their game and put any discarded or old netting safely in a bin."