Pembrokeshire Hogspital rescue centre was set up in my back garden and garage in 2003 with a couple of Critter cages indoors for the more seriously ill hedgehogs.
After having joined the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, I alerted local Vets and put posters in the Library and other strategic places and hedgehogs started to arrive - slowly at first.
I was not a complete beginner as I had looked after a couple a year for three years before but I still needed to learn a lot. To my surprise, I found I appeared to be the only carer in four counties so it was not long before hogs were arriving in substantial numbers and with various problems, creating a very fast learning curve. Luckily I had and still have a brilliant Vet and a friend who used to care for hedgehogs and was able to advise me.
I soon needed to expand and, with the help of a friend's husband, donated kitchen units were converted into cages in the garage and outside rabbit hutches were gleaned through the Freecycle website.
Volunteers were taken on to help me with the cleaning in the mornings and feeding at night.
In 2009 I asked Murco for help with buying hutches and pens for the lawn and, thankfully, they provided four plus four hedgehog houses to go into existing runs. They also gave us air time on Radio Pembrokeshire, to promote the Hogspital and explain the work done here.
We modified again about 4 years ago, replacing the kitchen units with purpose built cages as the units had gone past their sell by dates!
If you would like to help us without it costing you a penny, join Easy Fundraising and do your internet shopping through their site. You simply enrol, tick our name as being the organisation you support then you go on to any of the big suppliers who are signed up to it and they will give us a tiny percentage donation for each sale. It is so easy and all the biggest retailers are on there. The only catch is, Tesco do not give any donations on weekly/monthly shopping, only on things bought through Tesco Direct.
Our intensive care unit showing new high quality incubators bought with a grant from PAVS in 2010 and the new tables made by the Pembrokeshire Youth Offending Team in July 2010
Just recently we were lucky enough to receive a large, anonymous donation, which allowed us to have a purpose built shed to house the summer cages during the winter to prevent them rotting. It is big enough to also house some newly donated, large hutches for the hedgehogs to hibernate in. I hope it will overcome the problem of food and water freezing during the winter.
It is now the end of 2016 and we haven't stopped growing. 190 hedgehogs have been through our doors this year so far. They are still coming in despite it being Christmas. Six months ago, I found friends who were willing to take over the Hogspital so I can retire and I think we are nearly there. At the moment I am only doing admissions and passing the hedgehogs on to them when they are out of danger, A double pig sty that had been converted to be an aviary has been converted further to house ten hutches and a huge shed has been built to act as what was my Primrose Ward. We were lucky to gain a grant from LUSH to build this.
As time has gone on, more people and firms have got to hear about me so finding grants and donations has become a little easier. It was VERY hard to start with. Basically it is essential to get out into the community, teach people and children about the work of the Hogspital and environmental problems, take youngsters in as volunteers and help with Duke of Edinburgh Awards or youngsters hoping to become Vets.
JOP have supported me each year for several years now
The Port Authority have given me £100 toward having lighting installed in the shed (or Bluebell Ward to be posh about it)
I have recently become involved with Burns Pet Nutrition and very much hope to help with some of their educational talks and open days as well as providing hedgehogs for their market garden.
There are also a few very kind people who have contacted me through the web site and either donated one off or are making annual contributions.
PEMBROKESHIRE HOGSPITAL TAKES IN HEDGEHOGS FROM THE WHOLE OF PEMBROKESHIRE AND A GREAT DEAL OF CARMARTHENSHIRE. WE ALSO ADVISE OTHER RESCUES AND CARERS WHEN ASKED TO DO SO.
Click here for next page