The tale of a blind albino rescue hedgehog

On Thursday, June first 2017, a call was received at County Animal Services in the Ocean Beach community of San Diego, California. An officer was sent to the area referenced by the caller and discovered several hedgehogs in a trash can and a bag that was moving. The officer opened the bag and found more hedgehogs inside. A total of 15 hedgehogs were found, nine of which survived. Winter was one of the hedgehogs found in the bag.

On June first the hedgehogs were transported to County Animal Services for treatment. Each hedgehog received an evaluation and medical care. Winter’s initial intake revealed he was the largest of the hedgehogs, covered in urine and feces, had urine burns, thermal burns, was dehydrated, and had overgrown nails. He was cleaned up and monitored for his medical conditions.

On June third the veterinarian noted he was doing well, but appeared to have microopthalmia, a disorder where one or both eyes are unusually small and do not function correctly. His skin was doing better, but he was shy and not unrolling for his exam.

Winter and the other hedgehogs were given time to recover and receive further medical treatment. On June 15th he was evaluated at a veterinarian’s office and it was discovered he did not have microopthalmia, he actually had no eyes. He was given a clean bill of health and ready for transport. Since it is illegal to own hedgehogs in California, all of the hedgies would have to be transported out of state for adoption.

The hedgehogs were brought to Arizona through the hard work at Arizona Sugar Glider rescue. They worked with California authorities and volunteers to arrange transport to the rescue. Mrs. Zoo spotted the hedgehogs on Arizona Sugar Glider Rescue’s Instagram. Winter immediately stood out from the crowd. She contacted the rescue and set up an appointment to meet this very special hedgehog. Everything went well and on June 24th, Winter had one more car ride to get to his forever home.

He was named Winter because he is white and Mr. Zoo was reminded of Edgar Winter, a classic rock musician who is also albino. Winter received a checkup with our regular veterinarian and was given a clean bill of health. Winter is very social and usually up and about when people are around. He loves running in his wheel, worm treats, and rolling around in his litter tray. He’s a fast little guy and really gets going during playtime and baths. Winter gets around fine and has no issues regarding his blindness. He’s had a rough start to life, but now enjoys quiet days filled with fresh food, water, a running wheel, and lots of love. We are privileged to have Winter become part of our animal family.

For more information about Arizona Sugar Glider rescue visit their website and Instagram @az_sugar_glider_rescue

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