Happy hedgie news: compassionate St Albans rescue dog saves ‘hog
PUBLISHED: 12:25 09 November 2020 | UPDATED: 12:25 09 November 2020
If you’re sick of coronavirus, parliamentary confusion and the cooling weather, read this.
Because we could learn a lot from the compassionate St Albans rescue dog who paid it forward…
A dog and a ‘hog – both with prickly pasts – formed an unlikely friendship that Beatrix Potter could have created.
Honey, a springer-cross, recently showed love when she saved the life of a distressed hedgehog.
She found the baby hedgie (known as a hoglet) out in daylight – a sign that there’s something wrong.
So, she gently picked her up and instinctively carried her to a place of safety, where her owners could get help.
And Honey, who is thought to be around five years old, was even caught on CCTV camera with the spiky critter in her mouth.
Nicky Jones, who lives in Tanners Close with her husband Paul, is a hedgehog lover who already has a history of rescuing abandoned ones.
But when Nicky was away for a week on a course with work, Honey remarkably took the helm in her absence.
Nicky said: “Paul let the dogs out on Friday and Honey ran in with something, which she plonked on the settee and then proudly stood over.
“Paul thought it was one of their toys but then realised she had brought in a baby hedgehog.”
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A friend volunteers at an animal sanctuary and was quick to collect the beast in a little carrier and join the fast-moving effort to save its life.
The hedgehog was checked over for teeth marks but none were found - although the examination showed her to be full of lungworm and other parasites, which have now been treated.
She has been named Brambles and is now thriving and being cared for.
After she is well enough to leave, Nicky – who volunteers for Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital herself – will look after her until she is safe to be returned to the wild.
And it’s all the more incredible that Honey is so tender, after she was cruelly abused at the start of her life.
Before she was given a forever home by Nicky, Paul and their children, Kiera and Jacob, she was thrown over a fence and found cowering under a bush, cold, wet and scared.
The family welcomed Honey in 2016, and she gets on wonderfully with their Springer spaniel, Bella, despite being a very nervous dog who barks a lot, due to the trauma she suffered as a puppy.
Nicky said: “It’s so cute given Honey’s awful start in life. I think it’s funny that it’s me who rescues hedgehogs and while I was away, one of my dogs rescued one - it’s like she knew.
“She knew it wasn’t well, given that it was out in daylight, and she normally has a little bark at them in the garden when we see them at night.
“I’m over the moon to say she is doing really well, is out of the woods and is gaining weight. When she’s steady we will have her at home and look after her for the winter, as she won’t be big enough in time to hibernate.”
Nicky’s lifelong passion for wildlife saw her take in six abandoned hedgehogs last year, which are cared for in a special ‘hog house’, in their garden.
But Brambles was a wild hedgehog in trouble, seen after on CCTV footage wandering around in daylight – an indicator she needed assistance.
To donate to help hedgehogs, visit https://www.sttiggywinkles.org.uk/donate/
Tiggywinkles, The Wildlife Hospital Trust, is a free specialist hospital which uses the best veterinary care available to rescue and rehabilitate all species of British wildlife. All British wild animal casualties brought to the hospital are treated completely free of charge and released through a controlled programme, back to the wild, when they are fully fit. Covid-secure procedures are in place, and the hospital is open 24/7.
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