Cloud Direct goes the whole hog with Prickles Hedgehog Rescue
By Hannah Cottrill • 01 Dec 2015
It’s October 2005 in Cheddar, Somerset and Jules Bishop is woken up by a rustling. To her amazement, a hungry little hedgehog (let’s call her Niblet) had come into her house through the cat flap and set to munching on some biscuits.
Everybody needs good neighbours
A year later, whilst checking on a neighbours house during their holiday, she finds a lonely, hurt hedgie (‘Rufus’). She takes Rufus in to her home and with the help of the village vet, nurses him back to full health. After three days, this little chap is released back into the wild (her garden) and there he happily snuffles for many more years.
December 2006: Jules has her first hog in over winter. When rescued, Muffin was half the weight she should’ve been and was unable to hibernate and therefore, wouldn’t survive. She lived in the utility room all season and when Spring 2007 came around, Jules said ‘Farewell’ to a healthy Muffin.
Mum's the word
Now, Niblet, Rufus and Muffin had friends and they must have spread the story of the tall lady with the magic healing hands because Jules continued to come across more injured hogs. Word of her Florence Nightingale tendencies soon got around the humans of the village too and neighbours brought more injured spikeys to hog-mum's door. She cared for every one, cleaning their wounds, feeding them at any needed hour and keeping them company until they were well enough to be released.
Jules did her research and was upset to read the species was struggling to survive. She’d come to love these little guys and wanted to continue to help but couldn’t balance a full time job with the care these animals needed. She left her career and Prickles Hedgehog Rescue was born. Eight years on, she now cares for our snuffly friends full time, with the help of approx.50 volunteers.
At the height of the season, Prickles can house up to 150 hogs. It’s no wonder they’ve had to expand from the utility room to a proper premises on an industrial site! Since they receive no funding whatsoever, they rely heavily on donations of food, medicine, equipment and volunteers’ time.
Hogspital visiting hours
When a handful of our employees visited, Prickles had limited connectivity (only one mobile phone and intermittent internet). Having only one phone caused problems when an emergency collection of an injured hog was needed. So, we provided a proper phone line and broadband free of charge. This has made a huge difference. Our social media influence has spread the news of the fantastic charity too and they are gaining more support every week. Our future plans involve fundraising for equipment and medicine and giving up time to feed and care for these animals.
Jules has dedicated her life to saving the very animal that represents Cloud Direct and is doing great work with little reward. Hundreds of hedgehogs around the South West have been saved by one woman and her love of our Eric’s extended family. And all because of three chance meetings with Niblet and friends.
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