30, June, 2021
We are delighted to name Charlotte Smith, who runs Hog House Rescue in Leeds, the Hedgehog Hero for June! Charlotte does some amazing work in her local area, rescuing and caring for poorly hogs. Read all about her day-to-day activities and what we can all do to protect and help save the hedgehogs.
How did you first become interested in hedgehogs?
I have always been interested in hedgehogs, even when I was a child. When I was younger, I once found one in the street that had sadly died; my best friend and I sat and waited until someone came to collect it and we were very upset that we couldn’t do more to help. I just love how cute they are and their sweet little faces.
What do you think is the best thing about hedgehogs?
I think the best thing about hedgehogs is their ability to ball up tight to defend themselves and the way they can flatten themselves to get under gaps. They really are amazing creatures!
What can we all do to promote hedgehog welfare?
We all need to do more to make our gardens more hedgehog friendly. Introducing a ‘hedgehog highway’ and a feeding station gives them an access point and readily available sustenance. We also need to reduce our reliance on pesticides when gardening as many of these chemicals are dangerous to hedgehogs. If we made these small changes I believe they would thrive so much more.
How did you first get involved with the rescue centre?
I first became interested in having my own rescue when I was on my way to my sister’s one day. I saw a hedgehog in the middle of the road in the hot sunshine and I knew immediately that it wasn’t okay. I took it to the vets, who checked it over, and then allowed it to live in our garden in a hedgehog house. The hedgehog continued to live in our garden until it unfortunately passed away. That experience really spurred me on to help as many hedgehogs as I could.
What does a typical day look like at the rescue centre?
On a typical day, I get up and make sure all the hedgehogs are okay and that they’ve all eaten through the night. I then clean out every box and give them all fresh food and water. If any are on medication, I administer this, then they all go to sleep. While they’re dozing, I check all the resources and medication and order more as and when needed. Then the rest of the day is dedicated to answering calls and going out to rescue other hedgehogs!
Do you do any fundraising to raise money for hedgehogs?
I usually set up fundraisers on Facebook to help raise money. I also have some very kind people that regularly donate to the rescue; it really is amazing as without their support we likely wouldn’t be able to carry on.
Do you have any other plans for hedgehog welfare on the horizon?
I’m trying to spread the word on how to make your garden hedgehog friendly and give people advice on the best food to feed hedgehogs. It’s also my number one mission to educate people that if they see a hog out during the day, they need to get it help ASAP. It’s worth noting that hedgehogs are wild animals so your best bet is to call a local rescue centre or the RSPCA.
What do you think the future looks like for hedgehogs?
If people don’t help them and make their gardens more hedgehog friendly, we will likely lose the species completely. Ultimately, we don’t want that to happen so we need to do everything in our power to protect them.
If you know someone who you think has what it takes to be named a Spike’s Hedgehog Hero, connect with us on social and tell us about your nomination!