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Off duty firefighter rescues hedgehogs

July 9 2019

An off duty firefighter from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has rescued a group of hedgehogs trapped in waste.

To find a baby hedgehog dead with a plastic bag wrapped around its neck was horrendous.

Firefighter Mitch Stafford

Mitch Stafford from Uttoxeter is a firefighter at Cannock Community Fire Station and is raising awareness of fly-tipping and littering, after he discovered the hedgehogs on Saturday, July 6.

Mitch was out with his son when they heard rustling in the bushes. On further investigation they found one baby hedgehog with plastic stuck around its neck. Unfortunately, this hedgehog could not be saved, but Mitch managed to untangle the others and make a small nest for them while he searched for somewhere safe to take them. 

After some research, he found the West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue Group in Cheslyn Hay. He took the hedgehog family to work and, whilst on shift he and his crew took the animals to their new home with Joan Lockley.

Mitch is now trying to highlight the issue of litter and fly-tipping and the impact it has on wildlife.

He said “To find a baby hedgehog dead with a plastic bag wrapped around its neck was horrendous.

“We rescued the rest of the family from a mass of plastic bags, take away boxes and crisp packets. It’s disgraceful to see such harm caused to helpless animals. Littering has a price. 

“Joan is a fantastic lady who will home the family and release them back into the wild when they are strong enough. I’m grateful to everyone who has shown support and shared the message so far, but the more awareness we can raise around this, the more likely people are to change their behaviour.”