Hedgehog Central banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I went visiting my local pet stores today (there are 2) and they had 3 hedgies betwen them. All of them were pretty pitiful. After fifteen minutes of cuddling and persuading, only one would even SLIGHTLY unroll, you still couldn't even see her eyes. The other two were just hissing, clicking balls of quills. >< All three were like... morbidly obese, without a wheel, and eating crappy food.

My idea? I really have a yearning to expand on my hedgehog involvement. Someday I want to get into breeding. I'm still in school, and residence, so that's kind of out of the picture for a little bit. But I DO want to get lots of experience with hedgies, and all sorts of hedgies so I'll be better prepared for my babies one day.

I'll be done my semester in May, and I thought about asking one of the pet stores how they would feel about me being a foster mom for one of the hedgies for the summer. I could socialize it, provide it with good food and exercise, and make it a lot more appealing for a buyer. Both pet stores had had their hedgies for almost a year, and intimated that they were very difficult to sell because they were so unsocialized and unfriendly. So it could benefit everyone-- me, the hedgie, and the petstore, because the hedgie would be more sellable, healthier, and happier. They could continue advertising it in the store, and anyone interested in buying it could contact me and arrange a meeting.

Any thoughts...? I dunno, I just thought I might be able to help out a very unhappy hedgie and get some good experience. Do you think the store would agree?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Heyy!

Most people on here are completely adverse to doing something like this because it's supporting hedgehogs in pet stores which is bad, awful, etc....
I had an idea to do something like this however as well. I was going to go in and see if I could work part time for a pet store taking care of the hedgies, socializing them, etc... Haven't been able to put that plan into practice yet, but just wanted to say that I had the same type of idea even if it is frowned upon by people here.
It's just so hard to resist those little hedgies isn't it?
One thing that I would recommend is if one of the pet stores has two hedgies in one cage, check to see that they are both male or both female. It could definitely cause problems if you agreed to foster one and you got a mom and new surprise babies as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
793 Posts
I think if nothing else you could take the store a few printouts from the forums here on care, feeding, housing, etc or even save them as Word documents to a CD and give it to them. Any store selling hedgies, regardless of where they came from, needs this kind of info in hand. If they disregard it after you've given it to them (call back after a week and ask to speak to a manager, if they haven't seen it or give you the run around, chances are they aren't receptive to learning how to properly care for their animals) then speak with contacts available at the offices of the proper authorities, be it the HWS or another animal welfare group in your area.

IMHO, fostering them is giving the pet store something for free that they may or may not deserve, but it will be coming out of your pocket regardless, and the kicker is you may be asked to give the animal over to another person or the store to be purchased at any time! Those who volunteer to foster animals for the Humane Society or the HWS, etc are doing so out of the goodness of their hearts, but the animals they care for are not going to be taken from them and sold for profit by the very people who should be caring for them in the first place (in this case, the pet store you mentioned).

I applaud you for thinking of the hedgies first and wanting to care for them, it is something I would feel the drive to do as well, but you have to look at the issues that are underpinning the poor health of these animals as this is what needs to be addressed first and foremost. I bought my hedgehog from a pet store, but I suppose I was lucky as they had been caring for a socializing him with at least the minimal requirements for a decent environment and care.

Best of luck,

~Katie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do realize it's supporting hedgehogs being sold in pet stores, but I guess the thing is... whether or not I pursue this, these petstores will continue selling hedgehogs. I've offered information to them, and the answer is that the managers care more about the money than the hog (ie., feeding crappy food because high quality is too expensive, housing without a wheel because they don't want to write it off...). It's not that they don't know, it's that they just don't care.

Even if it supports that crappy attitude, wouldn't it be worth it if I could help one of those poor hedgies? Also, when it does get sold, I could exchange info with the owner and at least make sure that it gets proper, informed care in its permanent home. I don't know. Just... my take I guess?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
902 Posts
emeko said:
I do realize it's supporting hedgehogs being sold in pet stores, but I guess the thing is... whether or not I pursue this, these petstores will continue selling hedgehogs. I've offered information to them, and the answer is that the managers care more about the money than the hog (ie., feeding crappy food because high quality is too expensive, housing without a wheel because they don't want to write it off...). It's not that they don't know, it's that they just don't care.

Even if it supports that crappy attitude, wouldn't it be worth it if I could help one of those poor hedgies?
I think you missed a key point in Katie's information:
chances are they aren't receptive to learning how to properly care for their animals) then speak with contacts available at the offices of the proper authorities, be it the HWS or another animal welfare group in your area.
No, you do not look the other way, nor do you support them by giving them free care, you report them so they HAVE to take care of the animals properly or face consequences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To be honest though, I don't even know who I would report them to that would actually do anything. I live in a pretty small town, and there's definitely no local branch of the HWS anywhere near here. Our humane society is pitiful, I've completely given up trying to deal with them. They're terrible at enforcing proper care, and most of the people at our branch wouldn't have the first clue about hedgehogs themselves. If they did investigate it, I 99% guarantee that they would say that the hedgehogs aren't in bad enough condition to take action. Food, water and shelter? Check. What more could an animal need? (not my opinion, that's the attitude they've sported in the past)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,716 Posts
This is a hard one and I am really torn as to my feelings. One part tells me that its just promoting a bad cycle but then there is the bigger part of me that says everyone deserves to be saved regardless. I think I'd lean to trying to educate and then turn into the authorities if nothing is done but if you're saying the authorities won't do anything that makes it hard, I'd still try reguardless because the only step I could think of next is seeing if you could get the local media to do a story on the poor care the store is giving compared to whats recommended...maybe in the end too others that have gotten hedgehogs from that store will see that they may have been told inaccurate info and to check further into their own hedgehogs care. Not sure though this is a hard one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This may sound bad too, but I kind of don't want to make a lit of waves, I just want to help the poor little guys. I don't particularly want a lot of bad publicity for these places-- it's a very small town and I don't necessarily want to be known as someone who's attacking local businesses that are already struggling. My family is in a business of their own, so my bad reputation could in turn be damaging to our own company..

It's a very backwards little community. I'm at school in Guelph, and I'm so much happier there. Everyone is so much more educated and forward thinking. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,136 Posts
To sell hedgies, the store must have the proper USDA licensing. To have that licensing, they must meet certain requirements. I also agree that you should report them and continue to try to get them the right information while doing so. Try to befriend the employee in charge of their care and see if they will do anything better. Maybe if you donate supplies (hah, that is so backwards) you can convince them to use them. Show that you are really concerned and they may start paying more attention.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
I commend you for caring. I'm in a similar situation w/ my local pet store as the employees know me and my three sons by name, despite our being a big city. We have a number of animals and are probably their most frequent patrons.

They were not dealing w/ caudates (amphibians - Chinese Fire Belly Newts in particular) in the right manner. I didn't want to be "holier than thou" and cast stones, but I also didn't want to perpetuate a problem. The more I learned, the more I knew they weren't doing things right. I had a lot of bad info from them that I would gently clarify as I educated myself..."You know, I used to think they'd do well in warmer temps, but they actually only thrive when the water temp is in the 60's..." was my approach. They also told me mine wouldn't reproduce - I have over 50 juveniles and while I feel I've educated the store, I have no faith that they'd treat the newts correctly so they won't be getting them. (They couldn't keep theirs alive due to the hot temps, IMO, so luckily, they don't carry them - and they get wild caught animals - a big "no-no" in the caudate community.)

Your issue is worse, however, as it looks like the animals will be kept in deplorable conditions until death or adoption. I would probably intervene and try to foster, maybe even getting them to give the hedgie to you. I know they'll just get more which is the problem - if there's a "demand" they'll get more, keep them in the worst conditions, etc. You can't save the world, I've been told, but you can try to make litle improvements. No hope of you getting a P/T job there? If so, you could sneak in a wheel and give them good food! I know you're in school, residency, etc. I'm a dentist and always had pets but not the high maintenance ones (had a dog some of the time, cats and fish) and didn't work outside of my first year of dental school.

Gently try to tell them that the "hedgehog" food can cause choking and health issues and that they need a wheel to avoid the problems you're seeing. I'd also worry about them being male and female and having a litter to be faced w/ the same problems.

Good luck - there's no easy answer here and I applaud you for your concern. There's also no "wrong" answer - think long and hard before commiting, think of all the options and outcomes and whether or not you could handle it. They also may not allow it, so it's a mute point. Feel them out and let us know.

Dana
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, they already mad the male/female problem. They thought they had two males, so they housed them together (a stupid move in the first place) and were "surprised to learn one was female when she had a litter". Of course, she didn't keep the babies, being in such poor conditions and also housed with the male when they were born.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
That's disturbing. They have no right having these animals. Could you write an anonymous complaint about them to the proper authorities?

Dana
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
After hearing that they didn't even sex the hedgehogs I definitely wouldn't recommend helping them out. But I also understand your plight about making waves. I would suggest that you stop making recommendations to the store (they obviously don't care) and file a complaint with the USDA and Humane Society. I don't know if the BBB could do anything buy it can't hurt to file a complaint with them too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm not in the states though, I'm in Ontario, so we don't have a lot of those organizations. I think all we really have is OSPCA... :(
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top