Urgent help needed for baby hedgehogs as Chorley animal charity struggles with spike in admissions

An animal rescue charity in Chorley is appealing for help in caring for rescued baby hedgehogs.

Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 2:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 3:47 pm
One of the many baby hedgehogs recently admitted to the care of Chorley Hedgehog Rescue. Credit: Chorley Hedgehog Rescue

Chorley Hedgehog Rescue said it is struggling to provide care to a growing number of poorly and injured baby hedgehogs due to a recent spike in admissions.

Janette Jones, from Chorley, founded the charity in 2015, and since then it has rescued hundreds of vulnerable hedgehogs.

But the charity said it is unable to take in any more hedgehogs due to the sheer number of young hoglets currently in its intensive care.

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Hedgehogs give birth in June and July, and usually have an average litter size of four or five young.

But the mothers will often only wean two or three successfully and are liable to desert or even eat the other hoglets.

The charity is now urgently seeking the help of animal lovers in Lancashire.

Taking her appeal to Twitter, Janette said: "We have so many babies in the rescue at the moment and they all need around the clock care.

One of the many baby hedgehogs recently admitted to the care of Chorley Hedgehog Rescue. Credit: Chorley Hedgehog Rescue

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"We have had so many hoglets arrive over the last week, some with and without their mothers, with lots of nests disturbed by dogs.

"We are also desperate for new flooring in our critical care area. Are there any kind people out there that can help with this?”

The hedgehogs are not available for adoption because they require special, around-the-clock care, but help is welcome in the form of donations.

Can you give these baby hedgehogs a home? Credit: Chorley Hedgehog Rescue Centre

The charity is in critical need of food donations, old towels, newspapers, as well as money towards vets bills and medication.

Release sites are also needed for when the hoglets are healthy enough to be released back into the wild.

Chorley Hedgehog Rescue is a charity dedicated to the preservation and rehabilitation of hedgehogs and the conservation of their natural habitats.

The charity is run by a small team of dedicated volunteers that help care for over 100 hedgehogs.

The charity, operated from the home of Janette Jones in from Chorley, has been caring for injured, poorly and abandoned hedgehogs since 2015. Credit: Chorley Hedgehog Rescue

The rescue does not receive any government funding towards its annual operating costs and relies solely on public donations.

To make a donation, please visit the website for more information.

What the RSPCA say

The RSPCA said it is bracing for a ‘hectic hedgehog’ month after an unprecedented number of calls this July.

Last year, the animal charity received 244 calls from concerned residents in Lancashire regarding vulnerable hedgehogs, with 38 of the reports being made in July alone.

Evie Button, an RSPCA wildlife scientific officer said: "We receive more calls about hedgehogs than about almost any other wild animal. With a total of 10,644 calls taken last year, averaged out, we get a call every hour of every day relating to these iconic animals.

"July is our busiest month for hedgehogs. Not only do calls about hedgehogs peak, but so do admissions to our four wildlife centres as members of the public and our own officers bring in orphaned, sick or injured animals for treatment and rehabilitation.

"Because we get so many calls about injured or trapped animals we have some useful tips to help keep hedgehogs safe in the garden."

Keep hedgehogs safe in your garden

- Remember to remove sports and fruit netting after use

- Cover drains and holes

- Check before using a strimmer or mower

- Look in compost heaps before forking over

- Avoid using slug pellets as these are poisonous to hedgehogs

What if you find a baby hedgehog?

Evie said: "We receive calls from concerned members of the public who have seen a baby hedgehog - a hoglet - on its own.

"Our advice is firstly to check whether they actually need rescuing, by watching from a distance.

"Generally, it's best to leave them alone, but there are a few things you can do to check if the hoglet does need help.

"If their eyes are open and they're not in immediate danger, monitor from a distance. If you're concerned, you can try offering food and fresh water."

She added: "During the summer months, only intervene straight away if you find a baby hedgehog in immediate danger (such as on a road) and the mother has been killed or if their eyes are closed and they are alone."