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Surfer01

Hedgehog issue

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We lived in HA housing in a rural community of about 40 houses. The lady next door to us moved in about 18 months ago and seems to be a very nice and polite person. However about a year ago she started a hedgehog rescue which is very commendable. We thought that charities which are a business were not allowed to operate from HA properties.

However she is not removing droppings regularly or disinfecting and piling up bags and bags of their compost. Consequently in summer we had a plague of flies and blue bottles plus on hot days a terrible stench over the neighbourhood. It is now winter and for the first time in 8 years we are still having an issue with flies and bluebottles.

Yesterday she had another load of crates delivered which means even more hedgehogs on a piece of ground that is not larger than 65sq metres. This is of concern to us especially as I have rheumatoid arthritis and my immune system is low. Hedgehogs apparently can transmit salmonella to humans because of the bacteria in their droppings.

I not sure if it can become air borne, but I am wondering why I have been suffering from a sore stomach for awhile plus other issues. Just to add we have 3 Yorkshire terriers and 2 cats. Only one cat ever leaves our property but never goes next door. The pets have been with us for several years.

We want to issue resolved but do not want to fall out with the neighbour so are not sure how to approach the matter. Please advise. Thanks.

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Unfortunately people can be blind to the problems they cause others where animals are involved. It's also very easy for someone to end up with more than they're able to cope with sensibly and still be convinced they're doing good. Do you have any idea which organisation is supplying the rescue hedgehogs or what the long term plan is when they are back to full health? I doubt very much your neighbour suddenly became an expert and started a charity overnight. If she is providing organised foster care for animals destined to be returned to the wild then it's probably worth having a word with whatever organisation she's doing it for. If she's just taken it upon herself to become an independent 'collector' it is going to be more difficult and I'm afraid you may need to involve the HA or the council environmental health dept.

 

Anyone can style themselves a 'rescue' centre. Doesn't mean they have the knowledge or the means to do so properly and some of the worst cases of neglect ever seen are private 'rescues'.

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I am not sure if she is backed by an organisation, but she gets donations of food and boxes. The hedgehogs are probably brought to her by people in the district, but I have no way of confirming this The charity is also mentioned in a free booklet that is delivered to homes in the district by volunteer but not actually an advertisement. Here is a link to the organisation.

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You mention a charity but the website you linked to has made no reference that I can see.


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You mention a charity but the website you linked to has made no reference that I can see.

 

Now that you mention you are correct however in the local rag I am sure that the word charity is used. She may be running an unauthorised charity or rescue centre as after all she does get a lot of donations in the food of food for the hedgehogs.

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You could try speaking to neighbour, but if you go on to complain to the Council, then you might trigger a direct dispute between you.

 

Contact the Council at the appropriate time to make a complaint about this environmental nuissance being caused. Suggest that you wait until the Spring of next year, unless there is a identifiable issue now. If you complain now and the Council environment staff just see someone setting up hedgehog homes for the Winter, I doubt you will receive much sympathy. On the other hand, if her garden is a complete mess and there are loads of flies, then I should imagine she would be told to carry out appropriate work.


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Animals & Rescue can be a very emotive issue. Been there as ran a dog rescue for a couple of decades before having to give up on health grounds. Still miss the dogs now as 9 times out of 10 it was the owner that should have been rehomed. We live in a HA property and never had any problems mainly because:

a - we very rarely had any extra dogs live with us

b - had a good understanding with the HA - was allowed to heighten fences for example and they were quite supportive

Never went down the charitable status as to much hassle & paperwork.

 

As for our small spiky friends I do have 2 houses for them in our garden where they can both feed & sleep. For me I would try a softly softly approach first and if you get nowhere then that is the time you need to escalate.


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What is happening to these hedgehogs? Are they being just stacked up in boxes and kept their or are they being treated if they are injured and is there any attempt then to let them back into the wild et cetera? From what you say, I almost get the impression that it's simply becoming a very large collection of hedgehogs.

 

It's been suggested to you that you go to the council. This will be a nice idea if you get the council to move themselves – but they always seem to take a long time.

 

Have you not thought about going to the RSPCA? It seems to me that if she is getting lots of hedgehogs in then this is really something that needs to be handled by a more professional organisation which is used to these kind of things and has got the right contacts to organise dispersal of the spiky beasts


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Thanks for the advice on what could be a very spikey issue. The biggest issue for us are the flies in the summer followed by the smell however as said we now get flies during the winter. It is the flies that we suspect could be responsible for brining into our household any disease.

We did write an anonymous letter with pictures to the HA in the summer, but nothing happened which is not unusual as we have not seen a housing officer since 2012.

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