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Hedgehogs are being attacked
THE owner of a hedgehog rescue shelter says she has seen a worrying increase in the number of injuries caused by dog attacks.
Viv Smith, who runs Malvern Hedgehog Rescue from her home in Matthias Close, has issued an impassioned plea to dog owners to keep their animals under control.
She said: “I have had lots of dog-attacked hedgehogs, including babies, this year – far more than in previous years.
“Most have been fatal but some have survived after long-term recovery periods.
“Hedgehog numbers are in serious decline and dog attacks are a serious problem.”
Mrs Smith said she had another hedgehog attacked by a dog brought into her care recently.
“He suffered two very deep puncture wounds and died as a result of his injury,” she said. “A litter of three babies were admitted a short while ago with puncture wounds.
“Two of them died and one survived, with the loss of an eye. There have been many more, some with a broken back leg, sadly leading to amputation.”
Mrs Smith believes that the problem of dog attacks could be greatly reduced with “a little co-operation from owners”.
Vigilance is particularly important at this time of year, she said, as with the nights drawing in more hedgehogs are coming into gardens to forage and feed.
“Hedgehogs need to be encouraged and allowed into gardens in order for them to survive,” she said.
“I would like to appeal to members of public with pet dogs to be vigilant while their dogs use the garden and intervene with speed should they become over excited or aggressive.
“We can control our pets’ behaviour with responsible actions.
“Hedgehogs are wild animals and we cannot choose where they roam.”
Mrs Smith can be called on 07780 834411. For information about her rescue shelter, visit malvern hedgehog rescue.co.uk.
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