Rescue, Repair, Release

The aim is always to rehabilitate and release hedghogs back into the wild where they belong

Rescue & Repair

Most Hedgehogs are found by people, alerted to unusual behaviour, when they see a hedgehog out during the day.

Many have serious visible injuries due to traffic incidents, dog/animal attacks, garden machinery incidents with strimmers, lawn mowers, garden spades and forks.

Others are simply displaying unusual behaviour which can be for a variety of reasons such as dehydration, poisoning, starvation, internal parasites or a concealed injury.

On arrival at Prickles and a Pickle, Judy will assess the hedgehog and any which are suffering and clearly beyond help will be taken to Dart Vale Vets where they will be painlessly put to sleep.

The details of all hedgehogs are recorded, and they are given a name – an identity. Also recorded are the details of the finder and where they were found so they can be returned once treated. An injury assessment is conducted, and treatment will begin immediately. They will be weighed and given water. If appropriate, they will be offered food, medication as necessary and placed in a fleecy nest bed.  Small hogs or those that are really poorly may need to be incubated (for warmth) and given antibiotics and pain relief.  Judy will closely observe all newcomers and often sits up all night to feed or monitor the sickest hedgehogs.

A faecal sample will be taken to assess for worms and fluke and other parasites. 

Such is Judy’s experience and knowledge she is able to make a very good immediate assessment.  She is also in close contact with the BHPS and Vale Wildlife Hospital as well as other local rescues (all links below). Sharing information and knowledge is key to successful rehabilitation and Judy works closely with Dart Vale Vets, Totnes. Their expertise and compassion is invaluable as they uncover whether an injury can be repaired or operated on so that the hedgehog can be returned to the wild once fit and healthy enough.


Once fully repaired the hedgehogs are released back into the wild where they belong to live a productive life and hopefully prevent the further decline in hedgehog numbers.

Once recovered from their various ailments and injuries, the Hogs have to reach a certain weight before release and this is variable depending on the time of the year. The closer they get to ending their stay at Prickles in a Pickle, the less human contact they have so they are prepared for their life once again in the wild. We rely on the behaviour of our local hedgehogs to let us know when to stop releasing them in the Autumn and Winter: once they start to become inactive or hibernate in the wild, we stop releasing until the weather improves and the availability of natural food sources increases. After this time, all hedgehogs stay with us and are overwintered until the Spring. If you are interested in helping with the overwintering, please go to the ‘what can I do’ tab or click on the link below.

The treatment and care of the sick and poorly hedgehogs is expensive. In the past, Judy and Alan have borne most of the expense, but Prickles in a Pickle has grown so much in recent years and is now so busy that in order to provide rescue and rehabilitation for the increasing numbers, fundraising is underway so that a new hospital can be built. Donations and help is needed to improve the facilities and to continue the wonderful and vital rescue work started by Judy and Alan.

Help us to help our hedgehogs

Every contribution received goes directly towards helping the survival of hedgehogs.
All donations are gratefully received.