The FLASH and THELMA MEMORIAL HEDGEHOG RESCUE
of North America
A Colorado nonprofit charitable corporation
A Colorado State Licensed Animal Shelter and Rescue
(Licensed by the Office of the Colorado State Veterinarian, Department of Agriculture under the Pet Animal Care Facilities Act, Lic. No. 1287)
Member, Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies
The Flash and Thelma Hedgehog Sponsorship Program: Sponsor a permanent rescue hedgehog at the rescue and receive regular membership benefits (newsletter) and a quarterly letter from your sponsored hedgehog (vicariously written through Standing Bear) citing the hedgie’s adventures and photographs. Sponsor members also have the chance to vote on important items proposed by the rescue, and certification elections of the rescue’s Board of Directors. The following hedgehogs are the permanent members of the Rescue and are listed below by seniority at the rescue (those that have been in residence the longest are listed first). All of these hedgies are available for sponsorship. A regular membership in the Rescue asks a donation of $20.00 per year. We ask a donation of $30.00 per year ($100.00 for the life of the hedgehog) to sponsor a hedgehog. Contact Us
Some Resident Members of the Rescue
Every hedgehog at the rescue, like every hedgehog and every human being everywhere, has their own unique and distinct history and personality
IHR Number 930, a Brown atelerix albiventris (Central African hedgehog), was born on September 15, 1997 and joined the rescue on November 15, 1997. Louise was returned to a pet shop by two families that had purchased her because she was “too wild.” They demanded their money back and the sop owner was going to have her euthanized as unsaleable. We took her in as a 337 gram youngster and, indeed, she was a little wild woman, a real runner that was very carefree and did not sweat minor details like litter boxes. Ever an independent little hedgie that slept under the newspapers while the other hedgies were in their little house, she started to get gray tummy fur due to the newsprint. Anita Colby of the hedgehog mail list came to the rescue and sent us a newspaper end roll (newspaper without the print). We found out that our local paper provides these end rolls for free and we have been using them ever since. An equally independent hedgehog (Grumpy) joined the rescue in the summer of 1998 and she and Louise have been buddies ever since. In October of 1998, we discovered some blood spots in the big hedgie room, which grew larger over the next two days. On the third day we separated the seven hedgies and found that Louise was hemorrhaging. Quick action and veterinary diagnoses revealed that Louise probably had a uterine tumor. She was operated on in October of 1998 and we found that the tumor was malignant (adenocarcinoma), but the surgeon felt that she had removed all of it and there was no evidence of metastasis. Over the next few months, Louise’s weight increased to 600 grams, probably due to the hysterectomy. However, she has been gradually losing weight in 1999 and presently tips the scales at 470 grams. With age and the weight gain, Weezie has mellowed somewhat, but still displays that impish character that defines her as such a character. She is forever sticking her nose everywhere. She is a fine example of what early veterinary intervention can do.
Rose (Rosie), IHR Number 931, is a female Chocolate atelerix algirus (Algerian) hedgehog that was born on November 15, 1995 and joined the Rescue on February 19, 1998. She was sold by a breeder to a pet shop because she would not breed, but was then donated to a middle school because she had been blinded in one eye and no one would buy her because of the ugly eye. A classroom mascot, on one occasion the teacher returned (acting on informant information) to find several boys bating Rosie around the room with the teachers umbrella. Rosie arrived at the rescue a terrified little ball of quills. Our old therapeutic hedgehog, Thelma, got Rosie to relax and Rosie would snuggle with Thelma and follow her everywhere.
When Thelma died of old age in July, 1998, Rosie methodically searched the room for Thelma for several months. In November of 1998, we discovered that Rosie has uterine tumors, which were removed in the same month. Fortunately, the tumors were benign. Rosie is a tiny hedgehog, arriving at the rescue at 270 grams and never going above 345 grams. She had a low weight of 218 grams post-surgery. She presently weighs 270 grams and shares a condo with her pal Silverbelle. Rosie is an inveterate escape artist and, once escaped, hides in a different place each time which makes her nearly impossible to find. She holds the record for “disappearance” at the rescue - 5 days.
IHR Number 932 is a large, sweet tempered female Chocolate atelerix albiventris (Central African) hedgehog who was selected by Thelma as a snuggle mate after Thelma’s best friend Flash passed away in February 1998. Thelma had gone into a depression upon the death of Flash (lethargic, change of sleeping place, clostridium attack). We took Thelma around to visit some 20 other hedgehogs at stores, breeders and the wholesaler. With Little Flash it was love at first sight and both of them snuggled right away. Little Flash not only looked like the original Flash, but had the same mannerisms to the extent that I was beginning to believe in reincarnation (Little Flash’s nickname is The Buddhist Pog). Early on we had to separate Little Flash and Thelma because Little Flash came down with an upper respiratory infection. Both hedgehogs went into a depression. Thelma got another clostridium attack and Little Flash went on a hunger strike, going from 470 grams down to under 400. When they were reunited, Flash gained her weight back in 48 hours and Thelma’s intestinal problems cleared up. Thelma died of old age at 5 and 1/2 years on July 12, 1998. As we sensed the end was near an our hedgehog veterinarian was out of state, we brought both Thelma and Little Flash to the Emergency department at Colorado State’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
There, an exotics specialist did everything she could for Thelma, but it was time for her to pass over. In her final moments, Thelma patted me with her front paw and patted Little Flash on the face, then licked her face. After we returned home, Little Flash did not go on a hunger strike this time but Rosie, whom I forgot to include, reacted badly at Thelma’s disappearance, searching for her for several months (change in behavior). There is so much that we do not know about the lives of all animals. Yet we think we are so smart. Little Flash is now the “mother hen” at the rescue, and snuggles with hedgehogs on sort of a rotational basis, just like Thelma used to do. She has varied in weight from as low as below 400 grams to as high as 688 grams. We were scared of the weight gain, but exhaustive veterinary tests revealed that she was healthy. Little Flash carries the legacy of the spirit of the rescue - identical in temperament to the original Flash and specifically selected by Thelma. There is a higher power out there, and I feel that we do not understand it very well. Little flash now weighs about 570 grams and she is her usual cheerful self. She is great at nest making in her gray upholstered house, and shreds blank newspaper extensively. As far as we can tell, Little Flash was born in November, 1997 (or earlier) and joined the Rescue on February 20, 1998.
This very feisty in-your-face spirited atelerix albiventris (Central African) Gray hedgehog did not come about her name by chance.
She is the “Mother Jones” of hedgehogs and was shipped by a Nebraska breeder who could no longer care for her breeding population due to illness to a breeder in the Denver area. The Denver breeder had space problems with 18 new hedgehogs arriving, and offered to send both Grumpy and Angel to our rescue, because neither one would breed and both were too combative to sell. Grumpy sure was a handful. She huffs and clicks and pops and even butts you with the quills on her forehead, but seldom rolls up, preferring to fight. But she got used to me, sort of, and so we had sort of a mutual respectful standoff each time we encountered eachother. She bites others that handle her, but has not bitten me. She will even let me pat her tummy fir if I get in the right position. She is pretty good at bath time, but I must admit that I give her a both only to be able to handle her. She is the most fastidiously neat and clean hedgehog at the rescue. She will not run on a poopy wheel and uses the litter box faithfully. She keeps her fur spotless. Records how that she was born in June 1996 and joined the Rescue on July 11, 1998. Grumpy is IHR Registered hedgehog Number 1251 and has become best friends with the other wild woman at the Rescue, Louise. Louise and Grumpy can be found snuggling together under the papers (NEVER in a house or log). We have a priceless photo of Grumpy that typifies her independent nature. She joined the Rescue at 380 grams and reached a high of 472 grams. In the fall of 1999 we noted a growth on a rear foot. Dr. Dressen excised the tumor (for it WAS a tumor) and sent it off for histological examination, not wanting to remove the entire tumor (which would involve removing two toes) if it was malignant. The results were inconclusive, grade 2 mast cell tumor. So, the Grump goes under anesthesia for a second time for a bone marrow aspiration (it’ll hurt when she comes to). Good news: No cancer. Grumpy goes under for a third time, this time to get the entire foot tumor (plus two toes) and a large ovarian tumor internally. All tests came back benign. Grumpy bottomed out at 318 grams post-op but is now back up to 380 grams. Dr. Dressen speculated that the ovarian tumor may have caused Grumpy’s combative nature since the organ space is so small so as to cause discomfort. Naw.
Grumpy is just as feisty as ever (and I am kind of glad to see that). She has a lot to teach us about spirit.
Angel, IHR Number 1250, is an albino female atelerix albiventris (Central African) hedgehog who came to the Rescue on July 11, 1998 under the same conditions as Grumpy (see). However, Angel has turned out to have a totally different personality than Grumpy and is now as sweet a hedgehog as one could imagine. She has gone from being combative and skittish to very mellow and a downright little comedian. She was born on January 12, 1998 and arrived at the Rescue under the same circumstances as Grumpy. She has become an inveterate wheeler and escape artist. She has been known to go over kiddie gates and other barriers if there is no wheel for her to run on. On some nights when I would fail to reinstall a wheel in her room (due to veterinary advice), the next morning I would find Angel gone and a wheel in another part of the rescue with poop all over it. Unlike Rosie, however, Angel was very predictable as to where I could find her hiding the next morning, up inside a large hide-a-bed sofa. We became concerned when Angel’s weight dropped to 236 grams, but all tests proved negative and she was designated as a “wheelaholic.” Hence, the veterinarians advice to periodically remove her wheel. Angel, although still an inveterate wheeler, has gained weight and is now a healthy 380 grams.
She is best pals with Little Flash, Pokie, and Melanie. Angel is a good example of how attention and time spent will change a hedgehogs disposition.
The legendary Bozeman, escape artist extraordinare, is probably the cleverest hedgehog I have ever observed. His escape antics are well known and well documented. Bozeman is IHR Registered Hedgehog No. 1252 and is a male chocolate atelerix algirus (Algerian) hedgehog. He was born on March 20, 1998 and joined the rescue as the first potentially therapeutic hedgehog that was male on August 1, 1998. This was speculated because of his very sweet disposition and how well he got on with another male hedgehog in the same aquarium at a local pet shop.
Bozeman turned out to be a holy terror, as he could escape from virtually any place. He could unlock hasps, climb walls, build bridges, construct stairways, and leap ravines. Bozeman arrived weighing 284 grams and never gained much weight for over a year. However he now weighs about 380 grams and is a little more sedentary than in the past (but he did lead an escape from his condo last month and I arrived to find all three boys running around on the floor). When Miwacle was rescued from a wholesaler that had him marked for death (underweight, lying on his side, unable to walk), Bozeman snuggled with him and they are best friends today. Ironically, about a year after Bozeman joined the rescue, his original cage mate at the pet shop (Waylon) also arrived at the rescue. It was like old home week as the three settled in nicely. These guys demonstrate that there is much nonsense out there about how hedgehogs do or do not get along. We are thinking of adding Critical Bill to this group, since Bill welcomed very nicely another male (Edgar) while at the Humane society.
Miwacle was named for an exclamation made by one of my daughters back in 1975 in Korea upon the first snowfall. She looked out the window and saw all this snow and came running into my bedroom exclaiming “It’s a miwacle!!” And, for Miwacle the hedgehog, it was indeed a miracle that he survived. At the local pet wholesaler, which as actually a pretty sound operation, handling thousands of small animals, a diseased animal in with a large population must be removed quickly. It is not economically feasible to provide individual veterinary care for these small animals and the only animals getting individual care are the very expensive parrots. The others (hedgehogs, gerbils, guinea pigs, etc.) wind up in a “holding area” which is more accurately called a morgue. Miwacle, a small Chocolate Chip atelerix albiventris (Central African) hedgehog was lying on his side among about 90 other hedgehogs at the wholesalers, unable to move and apparently dehydrated. I snatched him up out of the “holding area” and it seemed that all he needed was a drink. He was too small to shoulder his way through the dozens of other hedgehogs to get to the water bottles. Miwacle is a real sweetheart and Bozeman immediately took him under his wing upon arrival, when he weighed only 212 grams. He now outweighs Bozeman by 450 grams to 380 grams. Miwacle is IHR Registered Hedgehog No. 1249 and he a quirky, funny little guy that did deserve to live. He was born in June 1998 and joined the rescue on August 4, 1998
Pokie was rescued from the pet wholesaler on the same day as Miwacle, August 4, 1998. Pokie had not yet made it to the death bin (holding area) but was heading there fast. She was also too small to shoulder her way through to the water bottles, and was poking her snout in every direction, to no avail. She started to fail and falter and could not poke her way too far due to her small weight of 214 grams. Pokie is an absolutely delightful little girl that is now considered a therapeutic hedgehog.
Like Louise, the pokes her snout into everything around her. Pokie is a Chocolate female atelerix algirus (Algerian) hedgehog holding IHR Registry Number 1247. Born in June, 1998, she arrived at the Rescue on August 4, 1998. Along with Angel, Pokie has also been diagnosed as a wheelaholic.
She is a very comical hedgehog and has a live and let live attitude among her roommates. A fairly small hedgehog in size and stature, Pokie is deceptive in body mass. Now just under 400 grams, she seems a lot smaller than she actually weighs. Pokie is one of the friendliest hedgehogs at the rescue.