The hedgehog found trapped beneath a pipe could have come to a grisly end
You get to meet all kinds of wonderful people through working with animals. I have made some lifelong friends thanks to my rescue work. You get a real insight into someone’s soul when they talk so passionately about animals and you get to see them words put into action.
There is one such lady of our acquaintance in Kildare Animal Foundation who adores cats. She feeds and neuters all the local ones around her. She will also bring any ill ones or injured one to the vets.
She also feeds the local hedgehogs at night in her garden. She called us the other day in a panic. She was out in her garden and noticed one the cats acting strangely and staring into a corner by the house.
She went to investigate and found a young hedgehog. The unfortunate thing had managed to get wedged between a drain pipe and the pebble dash wall of the house and could not move forward or back.
It’s possible that she had been there for three days as the same cat had been acting up since then. We were able to get one of our wonderful wildlife response volunteers to attend.
Once he got there, he was sadly not able to gain access to the hedgehog from the lady's property, and so needed to seek permission from the neighbour.
He then had to remove a section of the pipe to free the poorly hedgehog. She was dehydrated, and had wounds on her body due to her trying to escape. She also had a very bad case of fly strike, Thankfully the eggs had not hatched. Had they done so then this would have caused the hedgehog a lot of discomfort and lead to a terrible death.
Once back at the shelter, she was warmed up. Fluids, and pain relief and antibiotics were given and the fly eggs removed.
She should only need around 10 days or so in our care and she should be fit for release but this will depend on the temperatures outside. Hedgehogs are now preparing to hibernate.
We would ask everyone to please keep an eye out for young and underweight hedgehogs at this time of year, especially ones that are seen during the day. If you do see one in daylight hours or suspect that it is not well please place a towel over him/her, carefully put it in a cardboard box and place in a quiet, dark and warm area. Then call us for advice and help.
Dan Donoher of Kildare Animal Foundation writes the weekly 'Pet Rescue' column in the Leinster Leader. Kildare Animal Foundation, located outside Kildare town, is a voluntary organisation that provides a safe haven for neglected or abused animals. Tel: 045 522929, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.animalfoundation.ie. All donations welcome.