Man Helps a Blind Fox, but Then It Starts Acting Strangely

It was a cold, chilly day in Nuneaton, England, as the sun started to set over the busy streets. An injured fox was left lying close to heavy traffic when Geoff Grewcock stepped in to help. Many people had passed the injured animal, but no one thought to stop or call for help.

Geoff Grewcock and his daughter / Geoff Grewcock at the sanctuary / Geoff Grewcock / Geoff Grewcock and the blind fox
Source: YouTube

Grewcock wasn’t a stranger to helping animals, as he had saved hundreds at his animal sanctuary. He had seen animals in worse situations but didn’t want to leave the fox to fend for itself. The little animal didn’t seem like it would survive much longer, so Grewcock gave it a second chance at life. Here’s their story.

A Much Different Career

For most of his life, Geoff Grewcock didn’t think he would ever own an animal sanctuary. He spent most of his career working for a security company delivering money. Grewcock worked in this field for 25 years until he got “gassed in the back of an armored vehicle.” It made him rethink things.

Geoff Grewcock takes part in an interview.
Source: YouTube

The incident made Grewcock rethink his career, so he decided to retire. The gassing hurt his lungs, and he knew it was time to settle down. Although his profession had nothing to do with animals, he always loved them. It gave him the idea to do something more with his life.

A Bright Idea

Grewcock’s company paid him compensation for the incident, so he decided to invest the money into something he loved. He knew he wanted to work with animals because it was something he never got the chance to do. Grewcock set up a wildlife sanctuary, something he wished he’d done sooner.

Geoff Grewcock and his wife pose for a photo.
Source: Facebook

In early 2001, Grewcock opened the Nuneaton & Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary. He knew the sanctuary was necessary for the area because they had no place to take wild animals in need of rehabilitation. The local vets couldn’t keep them longer than a few days. Grewcock learned this the hard way.

A Necessity for the Area

The summer before Grewcock opened the animal sanctuary, staff at a local veterinary clinic treated a swan that was gravely injured. They were luckily able to save the bird, but it couldn’t be released into the wild immediately. The swan needed another few weeks of care, and the vet couldn’t keep it.

Footage of Geoff Grewcock.
Source: YouTube

Unfortunately, the surrounding area didn’t have a special facility that could house the swan. The veterinary clinic wasn’t equipped for long-term wildlife care, so they had to make a tough decision. The swan was put to sleep because it wouldn’t survive in the wild. Therefore, Grewcock wanted to prevent that from happening again.

Starting Small

The story of the swan ultimately gave Grewcock the idea for the sanctuary. At the time, he couldn’t afford a large plot of land, but his garden was big enough for a small operation. Grewcock began with one aviary and one shed. However, the sanctuary quickly grew due to heavy demand.

Geoff’s backyard is being turned into a sanctuary.
Source: YouTube

Over time, the sanctuary took over Grewcock’s backyard. The outdoor space was perfect for housing rescued and injured animals while they got the care they needed until they could return to the wild. Grewcock was determined to prevent another animal from facing the same fate as the swan.

A Special First Arrival

Ironically, the first animal to arrive at the sanctuary was a swan. The big bird fell out of the sky onto a local highway. Luckily, it escaped without any serious injuries, but Grewcock took it in to treat it for shock. Once the animal recovered, it was set free.

Geoff Grewcock prepares to release the swan into the wild.
Source: YouTube

The sanctuary was off to a good start, and Grewcock felt the success of the first rescue would lead to a bright future. However, he couldn’t continue the operation without help, so he rallied several volunteers to keep the sanctuary running.

A Great Helper

One of the many volunteers was Grewcock’s daughter, Emma Hudson. She was excited to help her father with his new operation, and together they welcomed a series of arrivals that quickly filled the shelter. One of the rescues was a Dutch rabbit named Rosie.

Geoff Grewcock and his daughter pose with an owl.
Source: Facebook

Rosie was the first “domestic” bunny to join the sanctuary, and her story was quite heartbreaking. Her family contacted the sanctuary in September 2001 to surrender her. The family said they would release her into the wild if Grewcock didn’t take her.

Low Chance of Survival

Grewcock knew Rosie wouldn’t survive if she were released into the wild, so they opened their doors to the bunny. She became the first pet to receive care from the sanctuary, and she wasn’t the last. Many more domestic animals came to the sanctuary over the years.

Rosie the bunny is in her cage.
Source: Facebook

The facility gained a strong reputation for its hard work and dedication to animals. Within five years, Grewcock’s facility became a registered charity in Nuneaton. As of 2020, Emma said that more than 75,000 animals had come through her dad’s backyard, including a special fox.

Joining the Family

One of the many stories Grewcock shared was about Rave the fox. She was rescued at three days old, and the volunteers raised her until she was old enough to be in the wild. However, she started following the van when they tried to let her go.

Geoff Grewcock feeds some of the animals staying at his sanctuary.
Source: Facebook

Raven wasn’t the only fox at the sanctuary; she joined the other foxes, Dawn and Roxy. Grewcock gained experience working with the foxes, which helped when he was called to pick up a fox that had been spotted on the side of a busy road.

Called to Help

Grewcock received many calls from the local police, fire brigade, and other authorities. Therefore, it wasn’t unusual when he got the call about a small fox. Although he had rescued foxes before, it didn’t make the situation easier. This little fox happened to be blind.

Rave the fox in her cage as she arrives at the sanctuary.
Source: YouTube

Grewcock speculated that the fox’s parents deliberately abandoned it because it couldn’t see. That wasn’t the only problem; the fox had a broken leg and was covered in ticks. Grewcock took it for treatment, where about 150 ticks were pulled from the tiny animal.

Many Health Issues

Due to the fox’s severe tick problem, he was diagnosed with anemia and suffered from epilepsy. The sick little fox couldn’t catch a break, and its future seemed bleak. Although Grewcock and his team didn’t know what the future held for the fox, they still brought him to the sanctuary.

A fox arrives at the sanctuary.
Source: YouTube

The team decided to call the fox Woody. He was a tough little guy, and despite his many health issues, Woody kept fighting. The team noticed that he started to perk up under their care, but it wasn’t an easy recovery.

Tough Nights

When Grewcock first brought Woody in, he didn’t know if the fox would make it through the night. He spent many nights on stand-by, fearing Woody would take a turn for the worst. He gave the fox food every two hours to help it regain strength.

Sanctuary workers are taking care of the fox.
Source: YouTube

Although it was hard work with many long nights, the extra care paid off. Grewcock noticed Woody’s health was slowly improving. However, even if the fox got better, releasing him into the wild would be tough. Woody was blind, after all.

Not Meant for the Wild

The vet told Grewcock that Woody was 90 percent blind. Releasing him into the wild would have been very dangerous, so the sanctuary had to make a tough decision. They could either release him and hope for the best or make him a permanent resident at the facility.

Woody the fox is relaxing at home.
Source: Facebook

Knowing what could happen if Woody returned to the wild, Grewcock and his team ultimately decided that the fox would become the latest animal to make the sanctuary its permanent home. They wanted the fox to live a long and healthy life.

He Settled In

Woody quickly settled in to his new life at the sanctuary, where he had a warm and safe life. He loved his new home with Grewcock and roamed around without a care in the world. Woody and Grewcock also formed a close bond.

Woody the fox is taking anap.
Source: Facebook

Grewcock told the local news, “Wood has got such a character. There’s no aggression in him; he comes and sits with you, jumps on your bed at night, and doesn’t smell. It’s just marvelous; for a fox, he’s unbelievable.” He is so loving despite what he went through.

He Made Friends

Since arriving at the sanctuary, Woody has made plenty of friends with the other animals, including a deer named Bramble. Like Woody, Bramble wanders into Grewcock’s home whenever he feels like it. Grewcock said Bramble opens the fridge to help himself to food.

Woody and Bramble hang out in the bedroom.
Source: Facebook

Bramble will steal any vegetable he sees, but no one seems to mind it. The two animals think they are house pets, and Grewcock wouldn’t have it any other way. He likes that the animals feel safe and comfortable in his home.

The Fox and the Hound

Like the beloved Disney movie, Woody became friends with Grewcock’s dog Orla. Grewcock was amazed by the animals’ friendship and even took them for walks together. Many locals gave him strange looks for having a fox on a leash, but he didn’t seem to care.

Orla and Woody are laying on the couch.
Source: Facebook

While some think it’s odd, Grewcock didn’t see anything unusual about the situation. He said, “If they are introduced slowly, animals will get on together.” He shared that Woody and the other animals walk around his house and don’t bother each other.

Attracting Attention

Grewcock gained a lot of attention for his animal rescue efforts. People thought he was insane for taking in wild animals in his backyard, but he knew no one else would step up to help them. He couldn’t have been happier with his decision to open the sanctuary.

the fox and the hound are playing in the living room.
Source: YouTube

Woody’s story gained the most attention, and Grewcock’s antics attracted the attention of a television show in Germany in 2022. He is becoming an international star. Everyone loved getting updates about the animals at the sanctuary, but they shared some sad news.

A Heartbreaking Update

In March 2022, the sanctuary’s Facebook page shared a sad update. Emma informed their followers that Woody had passed away. She said, “It’s with great sadness that I inform you all that our much loved and treasured Woody passed away a few days ago.”

Woody the fox is resting with his owners.
Source: Facebook

Emma said Woody’s death was unexpected, and they didn’t know what caused it. He had had many health problems since the day he was brought to the sanctuary, but the fox lived a happy life. Grewcock took Woody’s death the hardest because of their close bond.

They Were Close

Woody and Grewcock built a close bond over the years, and Grewcock opened his home to the fox. They shared a bed, and Grewcock rarely left Woody’s side. He was absolutely devastated when the fox died. Emma wrote about the bond her father had with the fox.

Geoff Grewcock is feeding Woody.
Source: YouTube

She shared, “I am very proud of my dad, as he saved Woody not once but three times over during his short life. He was loved by everyone, but for my dad, he was a close companion, and he is heartbroken.” Everyone misses Woody.

Remembering Woody

When Woody was first brought into the sanctuary, no one could have predicted what his first few months would have been like. They didn’t realize how much joy he would bring to everyone at the sanctuary, but his turnaround was miraculous.

Woody is sleeping on the bed.
Source: YouTube

Woody’s future seemed bleak when he was found on the side of the road, but the fox lived a comfortable and happy life. Woody won’t be forgotten any time soon, and his story was like something out of a movie. Maybe a Pixar short about him is in the works.

A Memorial for Woody

A few days after Emma shared the news about Woody on social media, Grewcock posted his feelings. He shared a photograph of a memorial they made for Woody in his home. The fox was cremated, and his ashes will be kept at the sanctuary.

A memorial for Woody sits on a shelf.
Source: Facebook

Grewcock shared, “Wood is back home where he belongs.” His simple message led to an outpouring of support from followers on social media. Everyone loved Woody and his story, causing many to share Grewcock’s heartbreak. Although he is gone, Woody’s memory lives on.

Warm Responses

Grewcock’s post earned many likes, and users offered their kind words. Everyone followed Woody’s journey on Facebook, so they understood how hard the loss was for the sanctuary owner. The kind words meant a lot to Grewcock, but one comment stood out from the rest.

A photo of Woody the fox.
Source: Facebook

A user wrote, “Truly beautiful. I’m thinking of you all, especially Geoff, who had such a remarkable bond with Woody. I’m so very sorry he’s gone.” The lovely words made Grewcock feel a little better. Another user commented that Grewcock should cherish all his memories with Woody.

The Appreciation Was Clear

People wanted to offer their support to Grewcock and everyone at the sanctuary during the hard time. One follower commented, “Treasure all those memories you have together. Geoff, your work and the care you offer these animals is outstanding and so kind.”

Woody is relaxing on the porch.
Source: Facebook

It was obvious that many people appreciated the work Grewcock was doing for the animals. He became a respected person in the community for his willingness to open his home to all these animals. There is no denying that Grewcock has done amazing things.

Moving Forward

Although the staff was heartbroken by the passing of Woody, they have continued to move forward with their work. Grewcock hopes to keep the sanctuary running for years to come. The operation is not cheap to run, costing around $30,000 a year.

Geoff Grewcock sits with his dog at home.
Source: YouTube

Grewcock has received help because the sanctuary became an official charity. Additionally, people have donated to the shelter through a GoFundMe page. Followers have donated around $7,500, and every little bit helps keep the sanctuary running so they can help more animals in the community.

Not Everyone Is Happy

Many people appreciate the work Grewcock is doing, but his neighbors aren’t always happy. Grewcock faced a $20,000 fine in June 2022 because his neighbor complained about the strong smell of animals coming from the sanctuary. The person complained for the first time after 21 years.

Geoff Grewcock takes care of the animals in his backyard.
Source: Twitter

The complaint puts the sanctuary at risk because they can’t afford to pay the $20,000 fine and keep the operation running. The town sent him a letter as a warning because of the complaint, even though only one person was bothered by the smell.

An Uncertain Future

The letter from the town stated, “Evidence gathered demonstrated that the animal odor is causing a nuisance to people in the area. Animal odors from the sanctuary were witnessed on two separate occasions.” The town said the smell prevents the complainer from enjoying their property.

Geoff Grewcock shares his breakfast in bed with a fox.
Source: Facebook

If Grewcock doesn’t fix the smell, they will have to pay the fine. It made the future of the sanctuary uncertain because the fine could put them out of business. Emma said no one had had a problem with the sanctuary in its 21 years of operation.

A Lot of Support

Everyone who lives near the sanctuary has been supportive of its mission. Grewcock and his team have never caused problems while caring for the animals. Grewcock felt the complainer had a vendetta against the sanctuary and would complain about anything to get them out.

Geoff Grewcock and his daughter pose with the sanctuary van.
Source: Facebook

Grewcock said, “We are an animal sanctuary, so, of course, there is going to be some sort of animal smell. One guy came out from the council on five occasions and stood for 20 minutes in the garden. On just two of those occasions, he reported a smell.”

Nothing They Can Do

Grewcock shared that the staff disinfects the facility every night, so it is not an issue of hygiene. Animals are going to smell regardless of how much the staff cleans them. What’s worse is that the town council wants to charge them $61 to appeal the claims.

Geoff Grewcock embraces the animals in his sanctuary.
Source: Twitter

Emma is worried about the animals at the shelter. If the shelter closes, they will be left to fend for themselves because there isn’t another sanctuary in the area. She added, “Some of these animals will be euthanized if we are forced to shut down and can’t find other places for them.”

They Are Suffering

Due to the stress of the situation, Grewcock’s health has suffered. The sanctuary has done nothing wrong, and it seems their neighbor is out to get them. Most of the community supports Grewcock’s work, but one person could cause them to shut their doors.

Geoff Grewcock holds a womnded bird in his hand.
Source: Facebook

The counselor in charge of the town’s health and environment said, “The Borough Council has a duty to assess and identify statutory nuisances within the Borough and take appropriate action under the relevant legislation.” The council thought this complaint warranted action.

A Horrible Suggestion

The town council said the smell needed to be taken care of, but not much could be done to change the smell of wild animals. No one else has ever been bothered by the smell of the sanctuary’s existence. However, that didn’t stop the council from giving them a horrible suggestion.

Geoff Grewcock holds a womnded owl.
Source: Facebook

The town suggested they euthanize some of the animals to fix the smell. Grewcock and his daughter were upset that they would suggest killing animals that needed help. The team was quick to share that they would never euthanize the animals.

No Answers

As of the most recent update, the sanctuary is still fighting the complaint, and its doors remain open. The community has rallied around Grewcock to support him during the case because most people want the sanctuary to remain open. The sanctuary has held many fundraisers to fight the case.

Geoff Grewcock tends to the animals in his sanctuary.
Source: YouTube

Many community members have donated to help Grewcock and Emma fight their legal battle with the council. They are currently in the court process to fight the complaints and keep their sanctuary running. We hope they win the case because they do great work for the animals.