I'm not a fan of giving pets as holiday gifts.
This is because in most cases (not all, but most) the act is driven not by thoughtful planning but by impulse. Making a commitment to care for a hedgehog is a commitment and not something someone should do on an impulse.
If you subtract Christmas week from the rest of the year, you still have 358 days to bring a huffy ball of quills into your home
· The holidays are a very busy time.
The holiday season is often very busy for families. In addition to the usual hectic daily routine of school, work and other activities, end-of-year festivities mean even more demands on your time and energy.
With all that going on, will there be enough time for the animals needs. Think about how scary it will be for your little one with its environment in the midst of the chaos that the holidays bring.
· Pets should not be surprises.
Surprising a loved one with a hedgehog is usually a misguided idea.
Yes, the recipient may be extremely excited and happy with a new baby hedgehog but unless the 'surprise' has actually been well researched and thoroughly planned for, it can be a risky thing to do. Unless the new pet parent is wholly committed to the idea of getting a hedgehog in the first place it can become a frustrating experience.
In my experience, it's best to let a prospective pet owner, no matter what age, be very engaged every step of the way in preparing in advance for the homecoming.
· Pet stores, backyard breeders, mills.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, certain disreputable individuals and businesses are bursting at the seams with babies needing homes. Most of these babies will be from breeders looking for that quick sale. Some are healthy. Many are not. Typically they are bred and born in less than optimal conditions and typically with disregard for proper breeding standards.
Every time a hedgehog is purchased from an irresponsible breeder or mill operator, it is incentive for those businesses to stay up and running. So while you may give a hedgehog mill baby a good home for Christmas, her mother remains back at the mill, having litter after litter until she's too sick or old to reproduce – if they don’t kill her, they will then dispose of her.
Since most reputable breeders will be filling from waiting lists and some rescue organizations shut down adoptions around Christmas, there is a greater tendency by people to go the pet store or backyard breeder route. Please don't be one of them. Wait, do your research, find a breeder you are comfortable with and get on their waiting list or contact your local Hedgehog Welfare Society and see if they have any animals that need a loving home!
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650 Douglas Ave., Addison IL 60101