Meet the Leeds hedgehog rescuer saving hundreds of animals from illness, injury and abandonment

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Penny Moore, 42, runs Prickly Edge Hedgehog Rescue in Mithley with her husband Cal, saving hundreds of spiny mammals from disease, injury, and abandonment.

Hedgehogs nurse until they are fully recovered, or arrange to be cared for in a foster home, before releasing them back into the wild.

Benny set up the home in 2019 and currently looks after more than 70 hedgehogs. Her work is largely self-financed with the help of donations and volunteers.

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Benny Moore, from the rescue of the prickly hedgehog in Mithli, inspects one of the hedgehogs (Photo: Steve Riding)

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She told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “In early spring and this time of year, hedgehogs struggle to find a decent source of food as their natural sources run out.

“I would say they are all natural causes, but a lot of them are related to human activity.

“We have hedgehogs who have been injured by lawn mowers or garden mowers, or run over or kicked by children.”

Stephanie the Hedgehog was brought home while suffering from balloon syndrome. Pictured to the left when she was accepted, and right after she was deflated

One hedgehog, named Stephanie, was hospitalized while suffering from a life-threatening condition called balloon syndrome which causes severe swelling.

She was rescued after a woman saw a Facebook post that two boys had tried to “blast” her with bricks and a compass.

Penny said: “She needed immediate treatment and the cause of Stephanie Balloon Syndrome is still a mystery.

“She was given a course of antibiotics and internal parasites, because the stress of the ordeal and taking her to hospital weakened her immune system and allowed the parasites to start taking over.

“We are pleased to say that Stephanie has made a full recovery and will be released to the lady who brought her to us in the spring.”

Penny says her work has not only saved hundreds of hedgehogs, but brought happiness to families during the lockdown.

She added: “Throughout the pandemic it has had a real impact on the public – in the darkest of times, they were able to see us rehabilitating a hedgehog they had found and sent out into the wild.

“Some of the volunteers have health problems or suffer from anxiety and depression and this becomes a treatment for them.”

Penny is supported by young people completing the Duke of Edinburgh Award and students studying animal welfare qualifications, but she is looking for adult volunteers who can make a regular appointment each week to help out with the house.

She desperately needs the extra cash to keep the business going at home and fears she’ll have to start putting out the hedgehogs if she can’t secure donations.

She added: “We have a small fundraising team and they are amazing, but a number of different factors – the time of year, diseases and the new variable – have affected the support we get.

“Now we are asking for people who will be willing to take care of hedgehogs, which we wouldn’t normally do at this time of year, but we are so financially stressed that this is the only way we can continue to support people who find hedgehogs.”

What to do if you find a sick or injured hedgehog:

Put it in a deep-sided box, with a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel.

Provide a nesting towel and a shallow water dish.

– Do not feed him at first and contact the animal rescue organization.

– If you do not receive a response within 30 minutes, find the nearest emergency vet – they have a legal obligation to take a urchin.

If you can’t get urgent help, feed her a small amount of cat food, mashed dog food or crackers, until she finds care.

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