Do you remember the year 2005? That was the year of Chihuahuas. Wasn’t it?
When Paris Hilton brought her beloved ‘Tinkerbell’ to premieres as part of her accessories, hundreds and thousands were raving to have Chihuahuas as pets.
Now, the year 2015 seems like the year of African pygmy hedgehogs as they are quickly becoming the newest pet trend.
These cute little spiny mammals sell for about 150 – 200 dollars in the US (£100 to £150 in UK). And with easy opportunities to buy hedgehogs online, more and more prospective owners are getting their hands on them.
Well, there are always disadvantages of such a trend, especially when it comes to exotic pets. A lot of exotic pets require special attention everyday or may not be cuddly like dogs and cats. Hence many people lose interest on them gradually and eventually they get neglected or dumped.
Talking about neglected exotic pet, just last week Hedgy, an African pygmy hedgehog was found starved and looking afraid in a wet cardboard box next to rubbish dump in south London apartment blocks.
This hedgehog had been so badly neglected; most of her spines were missing. She was found with ingrown claws and mites all over her.
Poor Hedgy was saved from her cruel fate by a passerby who found her and took her to Blue Cross animal hospital, where she was given medication to aid in a quick recovery.
‘The latest pet trend’ is the primary reason why animals like Hedgy are being dumped by their owners.
There are a lot of people who want to keep them as pets just because they are “cute” but when they find out that the animals are not easy to care for, they will just abandon them.
Hedgy would not have survived if she had been found just a little late. While she is lucky that someone found her and took her to the right place, not very many get lucky like that.
– Blue Cross Representative.
With more than 100,000 hedgehogs in UK household alone, the number of hedgies that may potentially be dumped in up coming years could be staggering; may be in the thousands.
For those who are planning to get a hedgehog, make sure you know the responsibilities and the long term commitment you are getting into because they can live for up to 8 years.
If you already have one as a pet, take good care of it and if you ever know that you can’t take care of it anymore, don’t just dump it. Give it someone who you know is interested and responsible or turn it over to an organization that will take care of it.
It is always important to do a lot of research and really ask yourself questions on being able to take care of any pet before you get it because taking care of a pet is a huge responsibility, no matter what kind of pet.
What do you think about pet trends like these and what can we do about it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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