FOSTERING A HEDGEHOG

Once the hedgehogs have gone through their initial health checks and treatment and are ready to leave the hospital, that’s when our dedicated team of hoggy foster carers become invaluable.

 

Foster carers follow an individual plan for each hedgehog so they are rehabilitated quickly, safely and are fully prepared for being back where they belong - in the wild.

 

Each foster carer must provide appropriate housing for their hogs, depending on their needs. Young or underweight hogs need heat and indoor care initially, while older hogs need an outdoor hutch to prepare them for release back to the wild. We will advise on the right type of housing for your hog.

 

MEET SOME OF OUR FOSTER CARERS

We currently have enough foster carers, so we're not looking for new volunteers at the moment. If you think this might be something you would like to do in the future, please follow us on facebook, where we regularly post updates if we have a need for new foster carers. In the meantime, check out our guide to fostering hedgehogs below, where we explain some of the joys (and not so joys!) of hoggy foster carer life.

 

BECOMING A FOSTER CARER

Fostering a hedgehog is an amazing experience, and we have people from all ages and backgrounds who give up their time to help our little guys make a full recovery. It's a rare opportunity to experience a wild animal close up and see how clever, resilient and precious these beautiful creatures are. It can also be a great way to teach children to have respect and understanding towards animals, without the long term commitment of a pet.

 

The length of time you foster a hedgehog can vary, from a few weeks in the summer for a recovering hedgehog that needs to build up its strength, to a few months during the winter, as we can't release an underweight hedgehog that arrives at the rescue in autumn until it has gained sufficient weight to hibernate if necessary.

 

Think you might be interested in becoming a hoggy foster carer? While fostering is very rewarding, please bear in mind that it's also hard work and can occasionally be upsetting. Please consider the following information when deciding if it would be right for you...

 

All our fosterers are dedicated animal lovers who are passionate about wildlife and always put the needs of the animal first. Fostering one of our hedgehogs involves making a commitment, because their life is literally in your hands.

Hedgehogs are wild animals, not pets. They must be kept away from unsupervised children and any pets you might have for their own safety. We do have some younger fosterers, but they are fully trained and supervised by their parents.

Hedgehogs are smelly! They are messy animals and their cage needs to be cleaned out every day, which isn’t always fun. You need to be willing to don your rubber gloves, roll up your sleeves and crack on with the hoggy housework!

They are nocturnal, so will be asleep during the day. While they are cute, they can also be grumpy, anti-social and sometimes fiesty, although if you wait until after dark and quietly watch them, some of their antics will have you in stitches!

We will never give a sick hedgehog to a fosterer, but they can hide illnesses and also develop them while they are with a carer. It is your responsibility to monitor their well-being, including regular weigh-ins, and contact us immediately if there's a problem.

Sadly, nature’s way means that not all hedgehogs can return to full health. If a hog becomes ill we will take it back into the hospital, but they can’t always be saved. You may find this upsetting, as it's easy to bond with a hedgehog you have been caring for.

Please remember, our sole purpose at Barnacle Hedgehog Rescue is to do what’s best for the hedgehogs. This means that occasionally we may decide that the circumstances aren’t right for us to accept someone as a fosterer. This is nothing personal, fostering a hog is a big commitment that isn’t right for everyone. We also reserve the right to bring a hedgehog back into the rescue if we feel their welfare needs are not being sufficiently met by a foster carer.

 

GET IN TOUCH

FOLLOW US AND HELP OUT

Swipe through the photos to see what our foster carers get up to as they take care of our recovering little hogs.

 

All our fosterers are dedicated animal lovers who are passionate about wildlife and always put the needs of the animal first. Fostering one of our hedgehogs involves making a commitment, because their life is literally in your hands.

Hedgehogs are wild animals, not pets. They must be kept away from unsupervised children and any pets you might have for their own safety. We do have some younger fosterers, but they are fully trained and supervised by their parents.

Hedgehogs are smelly! They are messy animals and their cage needs to be cleaned out every day, which isn’t always fun. You need to be willing to don your rubber gloves, roll up your sleeves and crack on with the hoggy housework!

They are nocturnal, so will be asleep during the day. While they are cute, they can also be grumpy, anti-social and sometimes fiesty, although if you wait until after dark and quietly watch them, some of their antics will have you in stitches!

We will never give a sick hedgehog to a fosterer, but they can hide illnesses and also develop them while they are with a carer. It is your responsibility to monitor their well-being, including regular weigh-ins, and contact us immediately if there's a problem.

Sadly, nature’s way means that not all hedgehogs can return to full health. If a hog becomes ill we will take it back into the hospital, but they can’t always be saved. You may find this upsetting, as it's easy to bond with a hedgehog you have been caring for.

GET IN TOUCH