A busy animal rescue centre is calling on the support of the public at its West Norfolk base.
The RSPCA at East Winch requires tins of pedigree dog food in gravy, newspapers, small towels and face flannels following a sudden influx of hedgehogs.
Freezing overnight temperatures have led to hundreds of hedgehogs having a longer stay in the RSPCA’s hedgehog hotel.
At present they have more than 200 hedgehogs and in 2016 a total of 952 hedgehogs were admitted.
Staff have 97 hedgehogs ready for release and they will be calling finders as soon as they see an improvement in the weather which does not look like anytime soon.
Centre manager Alison Charles said: “When we have this number of prickly patients in the centre they require as much care and attention as larger animals as it takes a lot of time to clean them out and feed them all.
“All we want to do is make sure that we can do our very best for the hedgehogs that come into our care, and ensure we can get them fit and healthy and back out into the wild where they belong”.
“We will still have more than 100 hedgehogs after these have been released so we would appreciate any help – whether it is a donation to help with their care, tins of pedigree dog food in gravy, newspapers, or small towels and face flannels to give the hedgehogs somewhere to burrow.”
The centre, which cares for hundreds of wild animals every day, also need people to help in the centre’s laundry room so they can keep the hedgehogs, seals and swans spic-and-span.
They are appealing for volunteers to help them lighten the laundry load and wash towels and dry suits used by staff and volunteers cleaning out the animals.
Mrs Charles said: “It is all hands on deck at the moment as we have so many different animals in– from hedgehogs and swans right up to seals.
“With all the cleaning it creates a lot of laundry so we would be really grateful if people have some time to spare to help us get everything washed and dried ready to be reused.
“We have one lovely lady who comes in to help us every Monday – but it is too much for one person. We just have mountains of suits and towels that need washing every day.
“Even tasks like moving donated newspapers from the collection bins, folding them flat and putting them on the shelving units is such a help to us as this is so time consuming to do – but really helps speed things up when you have dozens of hedgehogs to clean out!
“When we have so many animals in to look after it can be tricky for us to keep up with all the washing that needs to be done – so some extra pairs of hands would really help. Even a couple of hours a week would really help us out.”
The centre is open for the admission of all wildlife casualties from members of the public between 8am and 10pm every day, all-year round.
Anyone who can help out, should email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 123 0709.