Vets give urgent care to injured baby hedgehog that teens 'kicked and used as a football'

A veterinary clinic in Bamber Bridge urgently cared for a baby hedgehog yesterday evening after teenagers had reportedly been 'kicking it around' and 'using it as a football'.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 4:30 pm

Withy Grove Vets in Bamber Bridge took to social media to confirm the horrific news that was met with outrage yesterday afternoon.

The clinic confirmed that a distressed mother and son had brought the baby hedgehog in after taking it off a group of teenagers 'using it as a football'.

When the Post made contact with the vets this morning, they confirmed that the hedgehog had died but were clear to point out it was not as a direct result of its injuries.

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The hedgehog died hours after reportedly being kicked around like a football

Veterinary nursing assistant Rebecca Clarke said the hedgehog had been brought into the clinic yesterday afternoon, October 20 and was rushed into urgent care.

The Post was told: "The young hedgehog was brought it in by a lady and her son, they had taken it away from a group of teenagers who they had seen throwing it and kicking it around.

"I immediately rushed it inside to a vet but sadly it is no longer with us. It was clear the hedgehog was already very poorly and it did not actually die as a result of its injuries yesterday.

"It was extremely cold and dehydrated, and was clearly unwell already, which is probably why the teenagers were able to get hold of it so easily, especially in the daylight because hedgehogs don't usually come out until its dark.

The Withy Grove Veterinary clinic on Station Road cared for the small animal

"We put the post out because we wanted to make the community aware and to keep their eyes peeled to prevent anything like this being able to happen again - it is disgusting."

In 2019, The Lancashire Post reported similar scenes where a group of teens kicked another hedgehog around like a football in Clayton Brook.

Another hedgehog was deliberately killed after being strapped to a firework in 2019, sparking a fundraising effort for a local charity.

The news was met with outrage on social media, with users commenting: "Disgusting! What is wrong with humans these days?"

Another added: "That's horrendous, they are disgusting. Poor little thing" and "The world seems to have gone mad. What do they get out of this cruel behaviour to do this to an animal?"

A user also wrote: "How anyone can hurt a defenceless animal I will never understand! I can't even cope with hearing this."

The Post contacted the RSCPA for a response, who also confirmed this is not the first report the charity had received of this nature.

A spokesperson said: "It is very distressing to think that anyone could treat defenceless animals in such a cruel and heartless way.

"Sadly, this was not an isolated incident; we receive several reports every year involving abuse to hedgehogs.

"We urge anyone with information about this incident to contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

Almost 10,000 (9,997) calls reporting intentional harm inflicted on a wild animal have been taken by the RSPCA over the past five years, according to recent figures from the animal charity.

As part of its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, RSPCA data showed that wild mammals and birds bore the brunt of the abuse across a five-year period from 2016 to 2020. The number of cruelty incidents relating to wild mammals totalled 4,383.

For more information about what to do if you see an injured wild animal, visit the RSPCA’s website.

Preston Hedgehog Rescue Ltd also commented that reports of abuse against hedgehogs happens 'way too often' and care for ill or injured hedgehogs around the area with a small army of volunteers.

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