Thank you for visiting Snuffles Hedgehog Rescue website.
We are a family run rescue in Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands. My partner Matt and I started the centre in 2013 having found a hedgehog wandering around during the day and contacting another hedgehog rescue for advice. From here our passion for these spiky friends grew. Each year is busier than the last with many sick and injured hedgehogs coming into the rescue. There are wonderful success stories but also some very sad cases.
"One poor hedgehog had been so badly mutilated by a garden strimmer that sadly the injuries were so severe and it was in so much pain that it had to be taken straight to the vet to be put to sleep."
We are passionate about hedgehog welfare and we have rescued more than one hundred hedgehogs in the first eighteen months of operation. Snuffles, one of the first rescue hedgehogs, came to the centre with a severely crushed leg as a result of a digging injury, and it was touch and go whether he would survive without losing his leg. The vet could not amputate the leg due to the highest break being too close to main arteries. Thankfully, with much care and attention, his leg was saved and he was released into an enclosed garden because he can't run very fast to protect himself from potential dangers.
"We are self funded and dedicated to the rescue, treatment and safe release of sick and injured hedgehogs. We also aim to raise the public awareness of these delightful creatures."
We hope you will find the website interesting and that you will learn some new things about these precious little characters. - Claire Hunt.
What happens to the hedgehog when it arrives at Snuffles?
The first thing we do is find out what is wrong with the hedgehog. This is sometimes obvious, but if not we monitor the hedgehog for a few hours before undertaking any treatment.
Visible injuries are treated and sometimes this means a trip to the vet. Hedgehogs curl when scared and this makes examination very difficult. Our vets at The Ashwood Veterinary Clinic give the hedgehog a light sedation so a thorough examination can take place. This doesn't cause any harm to the hedgehog. All hedgehogs are weighed and their gender recorded.
The majority of hedgehogs that arrive at Snuffles Rescue have been struggling in the wild for a while and have often been without food and water. Fluid is administered (often subcutaneously) as this not only helps rehydrate the hedgehog but it also helps with shock.
Ticks and fly eggs or larvae (fly strike) are removed immediately as any external parasites can impact upon the health of a hedgehog. Hedgehogs pick up a variety of internal parasites and the best way of determining if a hedgehog has any is to look at a sample of poo under the microscope and then treatment can begin.
As soon as the initial assessment has been undertaken the hedgehog is placed in a pen (sometimes on an electric heat pad) with a fleece to snuggle up and sleep in, food and water is provided and a daily record sheet is completed to monitor their health.
Hedgehogs remain in the rescue centre initially in the emergency care shed and then once well enough they are placed in external hutches to get used to the weather. At this stage they can also go to volunteer fosterers who care for them until they reach a weight suitable for release. In most cases this is a minimum of 600 grams.