Tags: hedgehogs | pets | popular

Hedgehogs as Pets: Prickly Animals Becoming Increasingly Popular

Image: Hedgehogs as Pets: Prickly Animals Becoming Increasingly Popular

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014 02:40 PM

Hedgehogs — the tiny, prickly animals with little black eyes — are making a dent in the pet market despite a handful of states that have laws that restrict owning them.

Hedgehog breeder Jennifer Crespo told The Associated Press that hedgehogs are the perfect pets for individuals and families with busy lifestyles since they require little maintenance, have little odor, and are largely solitary.

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"A hedgehog can hang out all day while you are at work, you can come home, hang out with it for a couple of hours," said Crespo, who lives in Massachusetts.

Another breeder, Jill Warnick, said that the hedgehog demand has grown so much that she has put potential owners on a waiting list.

"When I first started I might have a waiting list of five people," Warnick told the AP. "Well, 19 years later, I have a waiting list of 500 people."

National Geographic Magazine even put a hedgehog on the cover of its April edition to highlight the new interest in them as pets.

Hedgehogs are relatively inexpensive as pets, running potential owners in Ohio and other states about $175 to $250 if bought from breeders, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

But there are hurdles to owning hedgehogs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires anyone breeding at least three hedgehogs to get a license, and the animals are banned in some form in Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, and Pennsylvania, as well as New York City and Douglas County, Nebraska, according to HedgehogCentral.com.

Hedgehogs can also spread the salmonella bacterium, the AP said, which can be a danger to young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.

The lifespan of hedgehogs can be short, averaging about five years. The animals can be prone to mites on their skin, can lose their teeth and their eyesight with old age and can develop a neurological problem that causes them to lose their balance.

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Hedgehogs - the tiny, prickly animals with little black eyes - are making a dent in the pet market despite a handful of states that have laws that restrict owning them.
hedgehogs, pets, popular
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2014-40-04
Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014 02:40 PM
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