Woman Startled By Mystery Animal On The Road — Then Stops To Help
“At first, I had no idea what it was.”
It was a cold, wet day when Hollie Warren spotted something strange on her way home from work. Warren wasn’t sure what it was, exactly, but had a feeling she should help.
So, that’s exactly what she did.
“At first I had no idea what it was, and started Googling ‘rodents in New Zealand,’” Warren told The Dodo.
She knelt down and scooped the small animal, who resembled a wet, bumpy rock, into her hands.
“I saw that she had some quills on her back, and realized she was a hedgehog,” Warren said.
Except, she didn’t quite look like a typical hedgehog. Her health had taken an obvious toll. Warren sprang into action to help save the hedgehog's life.
“I knocked on some random house to ask to borrow a towel, and they gave me one so I could walk the rest of the way home,” Warren said. “Once home, I contacted a rescue, but they are very busy themselves and asking for foster people for other hoggies, so I offered to care for her.”
The rescue told Warren that the hedgehog, whom she named Nugget, had mange. The condition is caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin, causing rash, itching and quills to fall out. The good news is that with proper treatment, those like Nugget can heal completely.
“She’s had a few injections for the mange, given by another volunteer,” Warren said. “Then it’s kitten food, water, and I regularly change her hot water bottle under her box to keep her warm to prevent her trying to hibernate, and oil baths to promote quill growth.”
Nugget, who looks like a little avocado, loves her oil baths because they calm her dry, itchy skin.
Watch Nugget’s amazing transformation here:
Warren doesn’t have any other pets at the moment, so she’s able to give Nugget her full attention. The small but mighty hedgehog with the “chill” personality will be released into the wild when all of her quills grow back.
Still, Nugget’s short time in her foster mom’s life changed life for the better.
“She’s given me more of a sense of purpose, having to care for her,” Warren said. “Seeing her improve on a daily basis has made me realize how much of a responsibility pets are, but also rewarding.”