That's what a lot of people say when they contact us. If you've found a hedgehog then it needs to be checked over so we're going to ask you to get it to us, or another rescue, asap. A list of rescues in the Yorkshire region and their contact details can be found at yorkshirehedgehogs.co.uk. At the rescue it will be examined carefully for any injuries, and then monitored with samples checked every day until we're happy that it's healthy and eating well. Hedgehogs out through the day are out for a reason and it can take quite a while to work out what that reason is.
However, during the summer months, a large hedgehog that is out in the morning or evening and is moving quickly and with purpose does not need to brought into rescue.
Vets are fabulous, they'll treat your dogs, kittens even horses and chickens but not all vets have the facilities to look after a hedgehog. Phoning your local vet and telling him you've found an injured hedgehog doesn't guarantee that he'll tell you to bring it straight in for treatment. Fortunately hedgehog rescues will give pain relief and first aid and if necessary will arrange veterinary care from a specialist vet.
Christmas Day we spend a few hours with family so we might not be available. Other than that if we're around we're open.
Everyone thinks that hedgehogs hibernate during the cold winter months. Many do after all there's no natural food for them - the bugs, beetles and caterpillars won't be back until spring. But hedgehogs don't sleep all the time and some don't hibernate at all. They'll wake up and come looking for a tasty top up and a drink of water and if they can't find anything and they're very hungry then even a slug provides a meal. But slugs do carry disease and there's a big risk that a hedgehog that eats slugs as part of its diet will become infected with lungworm. Lungworm kills hedgehogs if not treated. We ask everyone to put out a bowl of water and some kitten biscuits especially in winter when food is scarce. You can make a feed station out of an old plastic box with a couple of holes cut in - if you make the holes 12cm high x 9cm wide cats will not be able to get in and take the food but hedgehogs can flatten their spines down and get in.
Because the weather is becoming milder many females are having babies even in November and December. These babies stand very little chance of survival, they're emaciated, hyperthermic, and usually close to death. If you see a small hedgehog in winter get it to a rescue as soon as you can - it still might not survive but you are giving it the best chance possible.
It's -3C and close to midnight in the middle of January and yes that's snow on the ground but hedgehog is hungry and he's at our feedstation enjoying a top up before likely returning to his nest to hibernate a little longer.
A simple feedstation saves lives.
We all dread the calls in winter from someone saying they've found a little hedgehog. Babies born so late in the season rarely survive. They're weak and undernourished and unable to control the internal parasites taking over their little bodies. So when Hazel arrived on 12 January weighing 279g, cold, flat, terribly thin and unresponsive we had little hope for her. Even worse she had a deep, infected bite on her side. Following emergency treatment she went straight into the ICU. For days we battled to save her watching her lose more weight before the medications started to work and Hazel started to respond. Only 2 weeks later she was 330g, a lively and inquisitive little girl. Now she weighs over 800g and we're just ready for good weather so she can return to the garden she was found in.
We built the hedgehog shed in January 2021 as a small rescue and treatment centre. Although we like to keep numbers manageable at about 12 this varies throughout the year and we had 39 residents during busy times.
In 2021 just over 300 hedgehogs arrived at The Hedgehog Shed. Most were treated and released but sadly some did not survive.
We are at Lofthouse, between Leeds and Wakefield
You can also find us at The Hedgehog Shed on Facebook where you can contact us via messenger