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PostSubject: My Latest Addition   Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:08 pm

Meet Marge!

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a woman asking me to help her find a forever home for her hedgehog. She loved the hedgehog very much, but felt she could no longer give her the love and attention she deserves. She was struggling to handle her because she made her hands itch and as a result she was becoming a bit of a grump. I agreed to take her in with a view to finding her a loving forever home where she will have bucket loads of love. I have always told myself not to make judgements on people who surrender their hogs to me because there are many reasons people have to give up a much loved pet. I had to give up one of my cats when I was pregnant with Steven because he kept hissing at my belly. It broke my heart, but it had to be done.

The information I was given was that she was around 7 months old, healthy, a bit grumpy, but overall a lovely girl. She was bought from a breeder, but she had no paperwork for her. This is when alarm bells began to ring for me. She was very sketchy about who the breeder was and where the breeder was based. She said she couldn't contact the breeder to give her back as she no longer had her contact details and couldn't remember her name. I have had many hedgehogs and I know exactly where and who I bought them all from, and I suffer with both long and short term memory loss, so I find this very hard to believe.

The woman was super keen to bring her to me as soon as possible. I thought this a little odd because I know if it were me I would struggle with my decision and would most likely put it off for a few days. We made arrangements for her to come to me last Thursday. Due to our naff intercom system I sent Richard down to meet her so she didn't have to hang around in the cold waiting for someone to let her in. She wanted to just give the hedgehog and her bits and pieces to Richard and leave, but I asked her to come up so I could chat to her in the hopes of finding more info out.

When she came up she was more interested in seeing my babies and barely even looked at her hedgehog. She kept talking about her hedgehogs weight, saying she was fat, which she is not. She then repeated what she had told me about her in the emails she sent me, only this time the details were different. She said she got her from a breeder in a totally different area than the one she told me in the email, and that although she was 7 months old she had only owned her for 2 months. I have to say though, she is in excellent condition and was very clean, so overall she has been well looked after.

I decided not to confront her about this as I didn't want her leaving with the hedgehog. I didn't want her being sold to someone random on preloved that had no idea how to look after her. As you can imagine she was very shy and skittish, so I just popped her in my spare viv and left her to it for the evening. I got her out every evening after tea for cuddles, but she was very nervous. Anyway, yesterday evening I got her out as usual and it was as if something clicked with her and she just relaxed with me. I decided this would be a good opportunity to have a good look at her to see if her nails needed clipping etc. When I turned her over the very first thing I saw were her nipples. They are very long and her belly is round. Obviously I can't be 100% sure she's pregnant, but if she's not I will be very surprised. There is a possibility that she has just given birth and maybe destroyed the babies or something and so the woman decided if she can't breed her she doesn't want her. That said I'm not sure if she would still have nipples like that when she would have had them at the latest 2 weeks ago. As I say her belly is round and hard too, so it does look like babies are imminent. I have moved her into a bigger viv with a bigger house in it and given her lots of nesting material. I will continue to treat her as though she is pregnant for at least another 4 weeks.

Given that she will have been with me 4 weeks if she doesn't have babies and at least 8 weeks if she does, and also that she seems to have learned she can trust me almost instantly, I have decided she will be staying with me. If she does have babies and all goes well they will be sold as pet only. Once her babies have gone Marge will be joining Livana as one of my retired/pet only hedgehogs.

As much as I am cross about the whole situation, I do have to give the woman some credit. I'm assuming she gave her to me because she knew I was a breeder and would know what to do, rather than selling her on Pets4Homes or Preloved. That to me shows some compassion. I would have preferred it if she had been honest with me though. I would have taken her in anyway, but I would have known to treat her as a pregnant hedgehog, ie given her extra food, nesting materials and basically leaving her to it. Had Marge not relaxed with me I would still be none the wiser.

All I can say is thank goodness I decided to keep her for a week or so to suss out what kind of home she needed. Otherwise she may well have been in a home where they had no idea what to do when babies arrive!


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PostSubject: Re: My Latest Addition   Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:10 pm

Shes gorgeous xx
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PostSubject: Re: My Latest Addition   Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:32 pm

Glad she is safe but just cover yourself with selling the babies - I know if it happens in the larger rescues they just rehome them into pet only homes rather than selling them - that would be the biggest advice I could give you.

If she does give birth, you know what you are doing and the move should not unsettle her that much and she will start to make her nest, she may just have prominent nipples as some do - time will tell x

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PostSubject: Re: My Latest Addition   Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:54 pm

I've still not gotten round to sorting that part out yet. I'm really hoping I can find the original breeder, although at the moment it's all a bit needle and haystack. I'll be doing some more digging tomorrow when I get chance. I'm hoping that she does just have prominent nipples or it's my theory about her maybe recently having had some babies that she's not taken to so the owner didn't want her any more. After some of the things I've heard it would not surprise me in the least. x

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PostSubject: Re: My Latest Addition   Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:02 am

She is adorable hunni and in the best possible care. Smile When you gain the trust of a little one it is the best feeling in the world.

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