top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

New hospital for hedgehogs opens in France – and needs volunteers

The care centre has been in particular demand due to drought conditions and forest fires, which have left many hedgehogs orphaned, dehydrated, or hungry

A photo of someone wearing gloves feeding a baby hedgehog

The centre is caring for hedgehogs that have been affected by the drought and forest fires conditions over the summer Pic: slowmotiongli / Shutterstock

A new hospital for hedgehogs has opened in eastern France, and is looking for volunteers to help care for the animals, many of whom are dehydrated and starving due to recent droughts and forest fires.

The hospital centre opened in Bussang, Vosges (Grand Est) in the summer, after five years of planning by qualified animal carer Pauline Ruffenach-Schweitzer, who is also President of the hedgehog care association Chez Risson.

A public investment payment of €20,000 enabled the centre to open, and it is now entirely dedicated to caring for hedgehogs that are injured, orphaned, in accidents, or in poor health.

Ms Ruffenach-Schweitzer told Le Parisien: “We now need to raise awareness among vets so that they send people to us. As soon as an animal is injured, we must go as quickly as possible.

“Theoretically we don’t travel [to patients], but we could do so if the person is unable to come to us.”

Every inpatient is supported with a personalised care plan, and different species are separated depending on their condition. 

The youngest have a ‘nursery’ and an incubator, and there is also an operating room and quarantine area. The hospital has been in particular demand after a summer of droughts and forest fires.

"Many of our hedgehogs are dehydrated and hungry,” explained Ms Ruffenach-Schweitzer. “But they're going into a period where they need to fatten up. In the autumn, the females may have a late litter or a second litter, and the babies may be in trouble because there is not enough to eat."

The hospital can care for up to 50 hedgehogs at a time over its 100 square metre premises, but is seeking volunteers to help it operate at maximum capacity.

Ms Ruffenach-Schweitzer said: “We are looking for volunteers, especially to help with the release of the treated animals. Donations are also welcome to help with the costs of care.”

The centre also welcomes donations for key equipment, including inox plates, tick removers, sheets, soft or fleece fabric, watering cans, heated blankets, smoke detectors, and garden gloves.

Related articles

How to build a cosy hedgehog cabin

Autumn in France: How to help hedgehogs as winter approaches

Why are death rates rising among hedgehogs in France?

Watch out for hedgehogs when clearing overgrowth in your French garden

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now