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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my local pet stores got a baby hedgehog a week ago. As of right now, he is 39 days old. He is a pinto and he is already hand trained. The price is $129.99.

The problem is, I really want this hedgie, but I have heard bad things about hedgehogs from pet stores. The nearest (reputable) breeder is 2-3 hours away from me, and I do not think my mother is willing to 1-1.5 hours to meet the breeder for pick up, because she is a single mother and needs to take care of three kids.

Please give me what you would do and why.

Thank you.
 

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iZim,

After talking to you in chat, I think your best bet would be to wait until your mom (or yourself in a few years) is capable of going to a good breeder like Hurricane to get a hedgie. Wait until you are in a financial situation where you'll be able to afford the supplies and vet care that come along with ownership.

If the pet store told you the hedgie is 39 days old I would stay far far away because they are either lying or the hedgie is in desperate need to get back to its mother. They are weaned at 6-8 WEEKS, and if this is the hedgie you told me was there last week or the week before it was far too young to be away from mom.

Practically all pet stores know nothing about hedgies and are only trying to make money. Don't support them by buying a hedgehog there, they will only get more and treat those badly too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lizard,
We can afford the bills and food, we just can't find an hour in her hectic schedule to make time to drive all that way. I can certainly devote my time to caring for the hedgie and playing with the hedgie, it is just that she is trying to get her college degree, so it is pretty hard to find some free time, and when she does have some, she is running us everywhere for sports, school, and other activities.

And I realize they are lying to me, although I believe it meant the day it arrived at the store, but I think it said Date of birth. It still had decently sharp quills, yet it appeared to have been fully weaned and it also appeared to have been through the quilling process.

As for time, I think the soonest I can go that far is Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, where my mother wants to go to Venice Beach, Florida. I may try to get her to visit Beach Bum Hedgehogs while we are there, so this may work out.
 

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I got my little boy from a pet store. I would ask the store where they got it from, the pet store i got Mushu from got him from a breeder. If he was weaned from his mother to early (39 days old?) then he was probably bottle fed which means he might be a biter. I have read about the risks of getting hedgehogs from a pet store, but if they got them from breeders then i'm not sure what the difference really is. those are just my thoughts though, I've only had my baby for a couple of months so i'm not exactly an expert.
 

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***hedgielove**:D, where are you getting your information? Anyone that will sell to a pet store won't go through the trouble of hand raising a hedgie. That is extremely difficult to do. Considering there aren't a great deal of hand raised hedgies out there, it would be difficult to stereotype them as biters. I have never heard of that being a problem.

A "breeder" that sells to any pet store should never be considered a responsible or reputable breeder.
 

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All pet stores get their hedgehogs from breeders but they are usually mills. A mill is still breeders so even if the baby has come from a mill, the pet store can say it came from a breeder and they aren't lying. No reputable breeder will sell to a pet store.

I don't know why a hand fed baby would be more likely to bite. If anything the opposite would be true as hand fed babies get a lot of socialization and handling.
 

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I would definitely say you stick with your plan to visit Beach Bum Hedgehogs! That is where I got my little Rocko. Shelly is a wonderful woman who spends ungodly amounts of time with her babies, so when the baby comes home he or she will be friendly and used to people. Rocko has only balled up once, and that was recently because he was quilling. We've had him for six weeks and he is healthy, happy, friendly, and beautiful. I recommend her to anyone in Florida that wants a hedgehog. Hurricane Hedgehogs is also a very reputable breeder, if Orlando is closer to you. Either way, getting Rocko from Beach Bum Hedgehogs was an awesome experience, and I plan on getting more babies from her in the future (Even if I live far away. That's how much I love her, hehe.)
 

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If you look at the situation as "rescuing" the hedgehog, I don't see why not. There are worse situations, where people sell them on craigslist (Breeders, even!)

There is a family-owned petstore in my region, that breeds their own hedgehogs; and have a waiting list of upwards to ten months. I looked into it a while back, when I was deciding if I should get one.

Just talk to the pet store. Are they chain? or family owned? Likely, family owned may care for the quality of their animals. Conditions? Examine the hedgehog, of course! All situations persisting, everyone would buy from a breeder. (even though there are many hedgehogs to be rescued) And this little guy sounds like he could use a bit of rescuing, to me.

Just understand what you're getting yourself into. Should you fall in love with it, and want another, bare in mind you shouldn't breed a petstore hedgehog. Chances are, he's probably inbred himself. If he's hand trained, and is seeking a home, then rescue him. :) I say, it's better he goes to you (who sounds like they got their ducks in a row), than some impulse buyer.
 

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Even if that particular hedgie goes to a good home, where will the one that comse to fill his place go? The pet store is bound to get another once what they have is gone. It's better not to tell them there's a market for hedgies than to rescue that one, as harsh as it may seem.

iZim never mentioned breeding or even getting another, I'm not sure why you brought that up. That's certainly not something I would support, especially from a young, inexperienced owner.
 

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LizardGirl said:
Even if that particular hedgie goes to a good home, where will the one that comse to fill his place go? The pet store is bound to get another once what they have is gone. .... iZim never mentioned breeding or even getting another, I'm not sure why you brought that up.
At least that's one little hedgie going to a home that will love him/her permanently. That alone should at least warm people's hearts. Just because someone adopts a cat or dog at a pound, doesn't mean another dog or cat will take it's place. One animal at a time. It's honorable to adopt an animal in such a situation, than through a breeder, imo.

I mentioned breeding, because honestly, that's the only drawback I can possibly think, that involves rescuing a hedgehog. If they don't plan on breeding, ever, a hedgehog in this case, then I don't find the harm in saving an animal. I'm not supporting her to breed; I was just saying that if she doesn't plan to breed the hedgehog, which she shouldn't due to lack on lineage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As Lizard stated, I am not going to breed. I would love to when I get older, but right now I am too young. I also really want to get to know hedgehogs and their habits better before breeding.

And the hedgehog was from a family-owned store, but the family does not operate it. I think Lizard is right in saying it was from a mill. It is in a large tank, most likely 2ft x 2ft x1ft But the hedgie is inside of a 15 gallon aquarium inside of the big cage. I picked it up yesterday, and it was very sweet, but it appeared to be sneezing. I don't know if this is normal when you wake them up around 3:00 PM, but it seemed very sick.

To be honest, if trips to the vet can be prevented, I would rather buy from a reputable breeder. I understand check-ups and minor illnesses, but disease such as WHS can be prevented and are something that neither my mom nor I can watch (We watched a YouTube video showing the movement issues, they are ungodly)! We can afford a vet, but paying a few hundred dollars extra to get it from a reputable breeder that has a warranty on WHS would be easier.

Another reason I want that hedgehog was stated. Yesterday, some women came over while I was handling the hedgehog, they loved him, but I knew they were impulse buyers. Why? Because they said, "Look at his coloration! He is half albino half regular! So cute!" With that sentence, I knew they were impulse buyers. As soon as I saw him, I knew he was some sort of Pinto. They did not ask questions besides how much it cost. They were impulse buyers, especially since they do not the names of any colors besides Albino. Regular is not a color. And if they did know something about hedgehogs, they would at least know that he was an African pygmy, not a "small cute hedgehog."
 

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If it seems sick it likely is sick. If you were to get this hedgehog the first thing you would need to do is take it to the vet and potentially get treatment, which could cost more than the entire hedgehog and set up. And then you'd be opening a spot for another hedgehog to come in and possibly get just as sick as this hedgehog. And who knows who will buy this hedgehog, or if they will even know it is sick in time to get it to the vet! You're better off waiting and getting a hedgehog from a breeder with a guarantee on it's health as well as one with good lineage.
 

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Right, as I mentioned, I didn't think you were planning on breeding.

WHS is genetic, and even lines where people don't think it's in it, sometimes it does pop up. It's hard to regulate that. This reason alone shouldn't prevent you from rescuing a hedgehog. All animals should be checked by the vet, regardless. The hedgehog probably wasn't used to your smell, which may have triggered it, it also is probably handled by strangers constantly, and thus why it was a little under the weather. But if it's free, and most pet stores have a thirty-day money back policy, it's worth the risk, imo. Impulse buyers probably wouldn't know how to care for it, and they'd probably give it a water bottle, no wheel, and feed it a bad branded hedgie food. In the end, it's inevitably up to you. I know a few breeders in my area that don't hold up to the WHS in my area; and most will want you to go through their vet. So, if you buy from a breeder that lives hours away, guess what. In order to redeem that, you have to make constant visits out of city. This isn't always the case, but on most breeder websites, it will state the process (such as a vet through THEIR choice, etc.)

It could get better, or worse. I'd look at the pet store's policy, and make a decision. If you can nurse a baby hedgie who gets handled constantly by strangers, who needs a little TLC, that would probably be enjoyable for you. I've rescued a hedgehog, and my friend has too (from insane craigslist people, which by the way, the breeders wouldn't take the hedgehog back in the first place), and it was a beautiful, life-changing process. To go from a hedgehog that popped every five seconds, to one that you can literally kiss on the cheek with no negative response, it's an accomplishment.

And if that little guy already tolerates being held, you're only 1/2 the way. :]

But yeah, vet bills can become troublesome. Sneezing doesn't always mean "Uuhg, I'm sooo sick!", so Idk.

People post stuff on craigslist all the time -- might I suggest rescuing a hedgie from there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
aesthetics said:
Right, as I mentioned, I didn't think you were planning on breeding.

WHS is genetic, and even lines where people don't think it's in it, sometimes it does pop up. It's hard to regulate that. This reason alone shouldn't prevent you from rescuing a hedgehog. All animals should be checked by the vet, regardless. The hedgehog probably wasn't used to your smell, which may have triggered it, it also is probably handled by strangers constantly, and thus why it was a little under the weather. But if it's free, and most pet stores have a thirty-day money back policy, it's worth the risk, imo. Impulse buyers probably wouldn't know how to care for it, and they'd probably give it a water bottle, no wheel, and feed it a bad branded hedgie food. In the end, it's inevitably up to you. I know a few breeders in my area that don't hold up to the WHS in my area; and most will want you to go through their vet. So, if you buy from a breeder that lives hours away, guess what. In order to redeem that, you have to make constant visits out of city. This isn't always the case, but on most breeder websites, it will state the process (such as a vet through THEIR choice, etc.)

It could get better, or worse. I'd look at the pet store's policy, and make a decision. If you can nurse a baby hedgie who gets handled constantly by strangers, who needs a little TLC, that would probably be enjoyable for you. I've rescued a hedgehog, and my friend has too (from insane craigslist people, which by the way, the breeders wouldn't take the hedgehog back in the first place), and it was a beautiful, life-changing process. To go from a hedgehog that popped every five seconds, to one that you can literally kiss on the cheek with no negative response, it's an accomplishment.

And if that little guy already tolerates being held, you're only 1/2 the way. :]

But yeah, vet bills can become troublesome. Sneezing doesn't always mean "Uuhg, I'm sooo sick!", so Idk.

People post stuff on craigslist all the time -- might I suggest rescuing a hedgie from there?
I looked already, and there were none. And I guess you have a point. It is better that I "rescue" it then for it to be tortured by an impulse buyer. I am going to chat this over with my mother and see what she has to say as far as vet bills go.
 

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If you want to get the one at the pet store, just keep in mind that if it was sneezing then most likely it has a URI and will need to see a vet and require medication. The stress of going to a new home can make this worse. Make sure you know where to find a vet that will treat hedgies and knows about them before bringing it home.
 

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i just got my hedgie Tweasal from a pet store its not a chain branch and its for exotic animals, getting one from a breeder just wasnt an option here in vegas i couldnt find anyone. The pet store knew only the basics, most of my info i got through research but he is a very healthy active(@ night) lil guy..i dont really see the problem with getting one from a pet store as long as he is healthy i think of it as rescuing the lil guy and giving him a better life than he would in a pet store, nothing against breeders but sometimes its just not a reasonable option
 
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