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Have a HART and save a hoglet this Christmas

A wildlife hospital and charity that cares for thousands of animals across north-east Hampshire has appealed for help to care for 70 baby hedgehogs this winter

One of the hoglets being cared for by Hampshire Animal Rescue Team wildlife hospital

A wildlife centre that has cared for thousands of sick, injured and abandoned animals across the News & Mail area has been inundated with hedgehogs needing help.

HART (Hampshire Animal Rescue Team) wildlife hospital said it is "wall to wall" with hoglets as it launched its winter appeal to feed the growing number of hedgehog patients.

“The hospital is full to the brim, with more than 70 hedgehogs, which are mostly juveniles less than 600g, many unwell with internal parasites,” said a spokesman. “If you are a fosterer, it might not be long now until we contact you to have a winter friend.

“Please bear with us as we are very busy looking after them all, medicating, health checking, and arranging for their winter residences.”

The spokesman said the hospital has a team of trained fosterers ready to take the hogs once they are better and have passed health checks.

He added anyone interested in becoming a fosterer should register on the hospital website .

"Please do not call the hospital about fostering, and please be patient as we are very busy with all these hedgehogs,” he added. "We cannot guarantee there will be another training session this winter, but we will send invites out by email if there is."

The only care centre of its kind in the county, HART provides a rescue, treatment and rehabilitation service for animals throughout Hampshire, as well as offering advice to vets, the RSPCA and the public. It deals with more than 1,000 animals every year and the registered charity is funded entirely from donations.

The centre moved into a permanent new home at Soldridge Farm in Medstead, near Alton, in 2010. The charity had previously been run for 14 years by June and Bob Gibbs from their semi-detached house and garden in Overton, near Basingstoke.

Donations to help with the running costs are welcome and volunteers are always needed. To donate to the winter appeal, text HOGS13 followed by the amount you would like to give to 70070.

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