Wellingborough animal charity's hedgehogs in desperate need of food donations

The endangered creatures are not strong enough to survive the winter months

By Alison Bagley
Thursday, 25th November 2021, 12:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th November 2021, 12:38 pm

An animal charity near Wellingborough has appealed for help to feed the unprecedented number of hedgehogs in their care.

Staff at Animals In Need in Little Irchester are currently caring for 170 hedgehogs that are munching their way thorough around 40 tins of dog and cat food per day.

With more stricken hedgehogs arriving each day, the charity has asked for donations of food to bulk up the creatures at the shelter.

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One of the hedgehogs being looked after by Animals In Need

Lizzie Collins, wildlife manager at the complex, said: "We currently have around 170 hedgehogs over-wintering with us and that number is going up daily.

"People can help us by buying tins of cat or dog food, either pate or loaf or anything in jelly - but not fish or with gravy.

"The hedgehogs are mostly small juveniles. They are coming in stone cold and wet. A lot of them have parasites and worms. Without us they would die and they are now endangered."

Lizzie has estimated to get the hedgehogs through to spring will cost around £7,500 in food alone, with medication and bedding costs extra.

The charity is looking after 170 hedgehogs

She said: "It's crazy. I've worked here for ten years and the hedgehog rescues are maxed out. They wouldn't stand a chance without us. They should be over 600g in weight - they come in at 180g to 200g.

"Because of climate change we are getting warmer and longer summers. The hedgehogs have another litter so they are being born too late and they can't survive.

"Hedgehog decline is due to loss of habitat and the way we farm the land.

"We can all do things to help - cut a hole in your fence for a hedgehog highway, provide a shallow dish of water on the ground, leave some logs out to provide a shelter or put food out for them.

"We are getting through around 40 tins of dog/cat food per day so people can donate by dropping food off at the gate in our green donations box - labelling it to say that's where they want it to go - or we have an Amazon wish list."

Donations can be dropped off at Animals In Need, Pine Tree Farm, London Road, Little Irchester, Northamptonshire, NN8 2EH, any day between 8am and 4pm.

Animals In Need is a voluntary organisation dedicated to rescuing sick, injured, trapped and distressed wild and domestic animals. They provide veterinary treatment where necessary, care for and rehabilitate animals until they can be released or re-homed.