Hoggywobbles by Sylva Fae with Saffra Monteiro with rabbits and hedgehogs. What seems like years ago now, I was fortunate enough to help out a local lady who cared for hedgehogs in her home. I learned a lot but then she moved away, so when I found out that I could volunteer at Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital as part of my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award, I was thrilled and super excited! I never stopped asking questions and was always learning. I was taught so much about handling and caring for hogs and helped to deal with some really poorly hogs. Every shift was different and I was involved with every aspect of hedgehog rescue and rehabilitation. Over time I grew in confidence and began caring for a few hogs at home. I worked at the hedgehog hospital for just under three years and was involved with hedgehog fundraisers, over wintering hogs and also giving public talks to the visitors at Shepreth wildlife park.
My family has always cared for a mad menagerie of animals. Our rambling old farmhouse, up on the Lancashire moors, soon gathered a reputation for being a safe haven for injured, unwanted or just plain weird animals. We had a random bunch of misfits who clucked, quacked, shuffled and grunted their way around the garden until they were well enough to return to the wild. As such, I have always had a soft spot for animal rescues and always prefer adopting an unwanted pet, over buying from dealers. There are so many wonderful places that dedicate their time to rescuing wild animals or unwanted pets, but Hoggywobbles caught my eye because of the fabulous name.
Hoggywobbles is one of the first of its kind – a Convalescence and Release Hospital for hedgehogs – it is run by Saffra Monteiro. It specialises in caring for hedgehogs recovering from illness or injury, right through to fully restored healthy hogs being released back to the wild. Hoggywobbles deals with all aspects of hedgehog care but passes on those requiring acute treatment and medication to larger rescue centres.
While working at various rescue centres, I saw for myself that often these bigger rescues had about 60 percent of their capacity taken up by hogs who had been treated and now just needed monitoring and weight gain in order to leave. And so, I created Hoggywobbles, which fills this gap between acute cases and ready-for-the-wild hogs – think of it as outpatients rather than A&E. They still require experienced hog carers at this stage, and close monitoring, but do not require the advanced monitoring they had when on medication.
Saffra explained how it all started: From a young age I adored animals of every size and type, but I had a particular love and fascination
Hoggy Halfway House Hogs come to me after completing treatment for illness and injury at other local rescues. We then continue their convalescence progress which involves daily monitoring, cleaning and feeding so that they can gain strength and vital weight before
- 48 -