RESCUING hedgehogs for Samantha McCauley, started unintentionally back in 2021 when a trio of orphaned hogs were brought into the veterinary practice where she was training as a veterinary nurse, and she enjoyed looking after them.

The next hedgehog taken in had been trapped in netting and needed to be monitored for restriction wounds.

Samantha said: “We advise people not to cut them free and release them. They must go to a rescue centre to potentially receive pain relief and a full assessment. Wounds can take a week to show.”

The local rescues were full and the hedgehog went to stay with Samantha at her mum’s home in Mitcheldean.

She said: “My mum had specified not bringing any cats or dogs home but she didn’t speculate on any hedgehogs! 

“Over the next few weeks more hedgehogs were coming into the vets and the rescues were full. This is when I started Samantha’s Little Prickles.”

Samantha decided to learn more about hedgehogs as they are complex animals and she enrolled onto The British Hedgehog Preservation Society “First Aid, Care & Rehabilitation of Hedgehogs”. Samantha is continuing her knowledge within the veterinary field.  

She said: “People thought I was crazy to start a rescue while still at university. I tried to fund it myself by working nights. I soon realised it was not sustainable, I reached out to Facebook asking for newspapers and cat food. At first, I didn’t want to be asking for money, but people wanted to donate financially. I started a Business page on Facebook “Samantha’s Little Prickles Hedgehog Rescue”. The page got the word out who I was and what I was doing.  

“I rapidly outgrew the set up I had in my mum’s garage and the dining room, which had become an ICU. At very busy times we had hedgehogs in other rooms. I needed to expand the Rescue. I applied for charity status which was approved.

“I have been so lucky with everyone’s generosity from both businesses and members of the public helping me fundraise to allow me to relocate the Rescue. I could not have done this without their help. The fundraising will continue to help cover the costs of the new Rescue, plus all the food and medications. 

“I will reopen the Rescue on the May 6, 2024, in the new purpose-built building near Newent where I live.

“I am looking for more volunteers to help with the care of hogs which come from the Forest of Dean, Ross-on-Wye and Ledbury areas. If this is something anyone is interested in, send me a message.”

Samantha has now gone on to win the Outstanding Contribution to Animal Welfare Award in the Forest of Dean Lions Champions Awards in March, 2024.

To contact Samantha’s Little Prickles -

Tel: 07801 476574

Admissions are done by appointment only.