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RSPCA Cymru issue appeal after hedgehog shot with air gun

Sadly the hedgehog was put to sleep due to his injuries

Credit: RSPCA Cymru

RSPCA Cymru has issued an appeal for information after a hedgehog was shot with an air gun.

The hedgehog was found in a garden in Pembroke Road, Haverfordwest, on Saturday 23 March. Concerns were raised when the hedgehog was found wandering around in the day so a resident contacted local hedgehog rescue Pembrokeshire Hogspital.

Ginny Batt, who runs the Pembrokeshire Hogspital, collected the hedgehog and found an injury on his neck/shoulder.

She said: “Following initial treatment, I soon realised that something was seriously wrong so on Monday 25 March I took him to the vets. It was then discovered that the hedgehog had been shot.”

The vet believed it may have occurred around a week before and suspected it could have been a deliberate attack.

“The pellet missed his head and caught the shoulder,” said Ginny, “There was no bone injury but the impact had dislocated his shoulder.”

Sadly, the vet recommended for the hedgehog to be euthanized on welfare grounds.

“It really is upsetting as he was nice and healthy apart from his pellet injury,” she said. “It was also known he was from a family of hedgehogs who visit that garden.”

Ginny, who has been working with local schools in the area to educate people about hedgehogs, then called the RSPCA to report the incident. RSPCA Inspector Keith Hogben is now investigating.

“It is very sad to think about how this hedgehog may have suffered,” he said. “At the moment we don’t know if this attack was accidental or deliberate so we hope an appeal for information will help with our enquiries. (image of the hedgehog when being cared for by Pembrokeshire Hogspital).

“Our Inspectorate Appeal Line can be reached on 0300 123 8018 and we’d urge anyone with first-hand information to get in touch and quote log number 01244534.”

Cats and wildlife are often the target of air rifle attacks, simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them. The injuries caused by such attacks are horrific and often fatal. These attacks are often deliberate by people who just don’t care about hurting animals or are deliberately targeting animals to keep them away from gardens.

The RSPCA is calling for tighter controls with better education and explanation of the law when buying an air gun and that everyone must receive basic safety training before being allowed to walk out of the shop.