For weeks I have obsessed over the condition these hedgehogs were living in at the coffee shop where we took the disabled dog, Jackpot, from. I tried just keeping an eye on them, popping in for coffee and then giving them water and insects hoping that would spark some motivation for the owners to change things. I started buying little things from the market to put in a habitat for them so the owners would then be pushed to get them out of that tiny aquarium. I did everything I could to stop obsessing over them and to keep them in their current home. And in the end, as that plan failed to get any changes for these little guys, we talked the owner into letting us care for them. He was happy that they were getting a good home as he didn’t have the time or understanding to give them what they needed.
The absolute last thing we need is more animals. No doubt about that. We need a fraction of the ones we have, really just the ones who are not adoptable and are here for lifelong sanctuary. That’s all we need. Dealing with getting our adoptable animals out of the shelter to safe and loving homes in places where they will have access to competent vets is the most important part of our work now. Our main objective is to close the shelter for intakes and only focus 100% on veterinary training, outreach, vegan education, and mass sterilization projects that are vital for the long term progress for the rights of ALL species in Vietnam. That is the only responsible way to run this organization. Getting veterinary care to our rescues and those in central Vietnam that lack access to competent vets is not negotiable and that means with such limited financial and financial resources, this is the only solution. We live in DAILY terror for our rescues here due to the lack of access to vets. This can’t go on.
And yet here we are with 3 tiny little souls who need to get back on a proper diet, get into a better habitat, and then get adopted by caretakers who can provide them the life they deserve. Plus, we have to get them international vets in our clinic who have seen hedgehogs before and can handle getting the 2 girls spayed, the boy castrated, and then dealing with their usual medical needs throughout the year with whoever will be their new family. This is never going to happen with vets trained in this country, unfortunately.
More responsibility, more need for funds, more time to care for new animals that takes away from the process of opening the clinic. But in a country in which we feel constantly helpless to do anything about the enormous case load we have for rescue here, we got these three little guys to a better place. They are conveniently not expensive, don’t take up much space compared to the cats and dogs, and will hopefully be rehomed quickly.
One of the hedgies, the albino female, had 2 babies 3 days after arriving at our shelter. This was a HUGE surprise, though makes sense as the 2 females were housed in close quarters with the male and nature was bound to have an effect at some point…
So now we are hedgehog grandparents and mama Miroslava is being kept safely on her own in silence and with no disturbances aside from being fed and watered as mom’s tend to eat the babies under stress. We are just letting her be a mom to those beautiful babies and we will ensure that her kids also get great lifelong homes with competent owners in the environment they require. This is a huge responsibility and challenge, but we rescued these animals from a horrendous situation so that they could get a chance, no different than a cat or dog. We stand FIRMLY against pet ownership in general as pets are no less exploitation than any other use of animals, and exotic pets that are bred in captivity are no exception to this. The injustice towards these little guys is obscene as well as to so many other small animals that are presents for kids who do not know how to care for them or owned by people who are initially entertained by them but cannot care for them either. These animals are not toys. They deserve better than to be treated as such.
We will do our best to provide them with the care they need and the homes the deserve as soon as we can.