Vet : Hi there, vet Andrew here. I see you're offline at the moment so I'll leave this as a message for you.
Vet : What you are attempting to do is a very noble gesture, but there are some considerations. From some preliminary research, I believe that hedgehogs are protected in Ireland, and that you need some sort of licence to capture and retain them. However, if the wheels of beaurocracy move as slowly there as they do here, this may take too long to save the little chap, and there seems to be some provision for reasonable action without a licence where there is no alternative.
Vet : That said, my first port of call would be your local SPCA centre, who are used to dealing with these sorts of situations. In the UK, our equivalent will put you in touch free of charge with a nearby hedghog rescue volunteer.
Vet : If there is no alternative but to attempt the rescue yourself, then your best bet is to get hold of a live catch trap and bait it with cat food overnight. Failing that, you'll have to scout the area for runs - hedgehogs like to follow the same paths like foxes and badgers, but they are very hard to see. Try to find one that crosses a fence line, which will be an exit, and follow it back towards the centre of the property. Comb over the land, using a stick to lift vegetation to avoid transferring your scent all over the place. Hedgehogs will form a nest in dense undergrowth, and as you suggest like to return to the same one.
Vet : You may also have some luck placing a piece of cat food in the same place each evening and establishing a feeding habit. You can then lie in wait and throw a towel over him when he appears. Wear thick gloves for the spines and don't forget hedgehogs carry disease which can affect humans so take care.
Vet : If you are successful, transfer him to a deep cardboard box with a towel in for bedding, and place a wrapped hot water bottle at one end. Offer some cat food and fresh water, and keep the box in a dark quiet place until release.
Vet : Hopefully you won't need this advice as the SPCA should sort everything out for you - that's what they're there for. At least you have some idea where to start if things don't work out.
Vet : Best of luck,
Vet : Vet Andrew
Thanks so very much for your excellent advice. I especially appreciate that you provided a variety of information so as to cover many aspects of the rescue. I was a licensed small mammal and bird rehabber years ago in the States but have never had experience with hedgehogs and wouldn't like to attempt anything new without professional advice. At present I have already established a feeding routine. If in fact I perform the rescue myself, thank you for the personal safety information.
Kind Regards, Lisa