Basildon: Shot three foxes repeatedly in the head and dumped “for fun”.

X-rays showed pellets in the foxes' heads

X-rays showed pellets in the foxes’ heads (Image: SWNS)

Warning: graphic below

Three foxes were shot in the head “multiple times” and then left to die, with an animal rights group warning that animal abusers are “tomorrow’s serial killers”.

A passerby found the animals in a “horrific scene” in Basildon, Essex, on December 15 and alerted rescue workers.

Two female foxes had already died, while a third male was barely alive and “suffering”.

South Essex Wildlife Hospital staff were so disgusted they banded together to claim a £1,250 reward out of their own pockets for information leading to a prosecution.

The hospital said the animals were shot with an airgun rather than a weapon powerful enough to humanely kill and that they were in “perfect health” before being targeted.

They were found by a woman holding a “do not dump” sign after being chased and killed.

Three foxes were found dead and their bodies disposed of after being repeatedly shot in the head

The three foxes were thrown to the ground in Basildon (Image: SouthEssexWildlifeHospital/SWNS)

Sue Schwar, founder and manager of the veterinary practice and charity, said: “The incident is quite horrific. The mentality of someone shooting foxes for fun and throwing them away on purpose is amazing.

“Our problem is the fox, which was still alive and had to suffer. We know humans kill foxes and there’s not much we can do to stop them, but there are limitations to doing so.

“The right caliber rifle and ammunition must be used to kill, not just maim.

“We have since been confirmed by Essex Police’s Wildlife Crime Officer PC Raven and the RSPCA that it is a criminal offense to cause a fox unnecessary suffering by leaving it injured.

“This is very important to us and that’s why we’re offering a reward.”

This is the first time the charity has offered a reward for information about an incident of animal cruelty.

A veterinarian from the hospital attended the scene at Lippit’s Hill.

The three foxes at the animal welfare organization after they were found

Two were found dead but one fox was still alive when they were found by a passerby (Image: SouthEssexWildlifeHospital/SWNS)

Three foxes were found dead and their bodies discarded after being repeatedly shot in the head

All had been shot repeatedly in the head and a reward has now been issued to help find the killer (Image: SouthEssexWildlifeHospital/SWNS)

They found that the male fox had been shot in the shoulder and back, as well as in the head, but due to his spinal injury, could not be rescued and had to be humanely euthanized.

In a social media post, the hospital said: “The perpetrator was clearly an amateur or shooting for fun. “Penetrator” bullets were used and the weapon was not powerful enough to kill humanely.

“They also need the landowner’s permission to hunt, and while we don’t know where the foxes were killed, it is a welfare offense to make an animal suffer and expose it to circumstances that are likely to cause suffering.”

“Please contact us if you have any information or video surveillance in this area. Animal abusers walk among us, they are the serial killers of tomorrow, taking the lives of our wildlife for fun and often harming pets.”

Sue reported the incident to Essex Police and the RSPCA, who will lead an inquiry if information about the incident is provided.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/12/19/basildon-three-foxes-repeatedly-shot-in-head-and-dumped-for-fun-17962610/ Basildon: Shot three foxes repeatedly in the head and dumped "for fun".

Justin Scacco

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