Animal rescue service Wadars is lucky to have several very committed animal fosterers who among other things take care of underweight hedgehogs for the charity.
As part of this month’s Hogtober campaign – a drive to raise awareness of the plight of hedgehogs and how you can help them – we meet one of the dedicated fosterers.
Paula Carroll has been looking after Wadars’ animals of one kinds or another for the past few years.
She said: “I’ve been fostering animals for Wadars for four years now and to date have fostered five kittens, eight guinea pigs, 19 rabbits and 12 hedgehogs!
“I don’t actually remember how I ended up over-wintering hedgehogs for Wadars, but I think I was cajoled into it by animal rescue officer Elaine.
“As you would expect, hedgehogs in care are not cuddly, and as soon as they hear anyone approaching they run for cover and that’s the way it should be.”
Paula explained that looking after hedgehogs was not like looking after a normal pet, with contact to be limited.
She said: “Handling them should be kept to a minimum and I only handle them in order to weigh them to check that they are gaining daily and while they are out of the cage I can also clean it thoroughly.
“Caring for hedgehogs is so rewarding, knowing that they will be back in the wild for future generations to enjoy.
“As a child we always saw hedgehogs in the garden and were fascinated by the funny looking creatures, but it is shocking how many children these days have never seen a real hedgehog.”
To find out more about opportunities to lend a helping hand to Wadars, call the charity on 01903 247111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Paula said: “Looking after hedgehogs is not glamorous, what goes in one end has to come out the other and being confined to a cage when they are normally used to travelling over a mile a night, means they walk mess in to everything.
“They also have a very distinctive smell that gets stuck in your nose, you don’t notice it in the garden but in the confines of the shed with a number of hogs in residence you definitely notice it – you certainly wouldn’t want to have them in your spare bedroom!”