Urgent Need for Foster Carers for Underweight Hedgehogs
During the winter months we often have hedgehogs admitted that are fit and well but very young and underweight and they would not survive the winter and hibernation at the weight they are at. We are looking for individuals who live in the North Birmingham area (Sutton Coldfield, Streetly, Great Barr, Erdington) or Aldridge , Shenstone and Lichfield with an interest in wildlife and who understand and respect that wild hedgehogs are not domestic pets and should NEVER be treated as such. Winter foster carers would have the hedgehog until it reaches a weight of 600g and it would then be transferred to an outside hutch in order to hibernate once the temperature is low enough.
You will need to be over the age of 18 in order to foster with us. We operate in accordance with the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 and guidance from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), the RSPCA and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES).
In order to be a foster carer over winter you would need the following:
- A shed or garage with a power supply so that a small heater can be used to maintain the temperature at between 14-16 degrees. Hedgehogs should NEVER be kept in an indoor home environment
- The shed or garage will need to have some natural light so the hedgehog can differentiate between day and night.
- The shed or garage will need to be a quiet area and undisturbed.
- The shed or garage, used to house the hedgehog, must not contain any chemicals or substances that could or would be likely to emit any unnatural/noxious/harmful smells/fumes. Such as petrol, diesel, thinners or opened paint pots. These could cause the hedgehog to suffer severe respiratory problems or even death.
- You will need a single or double storey hutch at least 4 foot long – the rescue can loan this to you if needed.
- The hutch must be in good condition and have a separate sleeping and feeding compartment.
As a foster carer you would be asked to follow the guidelines given to you by the rescue at all times. You will be required to clean out the hutch each day and put food and water out each night until the hedgehog has gained enough weight to move on. We can provide some food if needed.
Being a foster carer is very rewarding and wonderful to know that you are helping to keep the dwindling hedgehog population alive and thriving
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer over winter and meet the above criteria please complete the Contact Us page of the website (insert link). We will then contact you to discuss in detail what is required and arrange to visit you.