George is one of many hedgehogs out there that need help in these winter months. George was found on the streets in Nottingham, and taken to Barrow Hedgehog Rescue.
He was only a baby when he was found. They cared for him and ‘fattened him up’, he’s now living in foster; and when early spring comes around, he will go and learn to be wild again.
Barrow home over 40 hedgehogs, and rely purely on donations. Majority of the hogs will go back into the wild, however some are permanently disabled and will remain in the rescue centre. Barrow is ran by one amazing lady called Paula. She is doing this for no-profit, and the sanctuary is based at her own home.
Anyone that can help Barrow by fostering a hedgehog for a period of time and caring for it in their garden, or house, should make contact.
A hedgehog seen out and about after September/October, when the temperatures drop, is NOT ok. Even if the hedgehog looks ok, it should be hibernating and needs help. The steps to help are to take him to a safe place and call your local rescue centre. Hedgehogs will hide their pain so that they look less vulnerable, so never assume ‘he looks ok, he must be fine'.
If you find an injured hedgehog, or one out and about in the winter, put on some thick gardening gloves, pick it up by holding it in both hands round the middle and scoop it up. Bring it inside and put it into a cardboard box lined with newspaper and give it a small towel or tea towel for it to hide under as it will be scared. If it is very poorly or is cold, you can also give it a hot water bottle, a drinks bottle filled with warm water and a tea towel, to snuggle up to.
Hedgehogs curled in a ball with spikes up (pictured) are nervous or anxious, and a hedgehog with spikes flat to its back is content and happy, so these can be tell-tale signs how your hedgehog is feeling.
As far as feeding and watering hedgehogs go; they drink water and can have NON FISH BASED cat or dog food (chicken or meat) as they are intolerant to the fish flavours. NEVER give them milk! They will drink it, but it is poisonous to them as they are lactose intolerant and cannot digest the dairy. This then leads to upset stomach and diarrhoea.
In the summer time hedgehogs need help too, so keep reading for some advice when we get our heat waves back!
When there is little rain, the amount of accessible water for hedgehogs drops dramatically. You should leave water bowls out in the garden, and if you have a fully fenced in garden, cut a small section from the bottom of a fence panel to allow access in and out.
So there is some information about rescuing hedgehogs, making sure they are safe and out of harms way and ensuring that you know the actions to take when looking after them. For any further information, contact your local rescue centre that is similar to Barrow Hedgehog Rescue, your vets or by calling the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01582 890801.