profilepictureI have been interested in hedgehogs for as long as I can remember. However, I didn’t realize that they were kept as pets until 1999 when I spent a year in Russia and saw them being sold on the streets of Moscow. I completely fell in love with the little creatures. In fact, I talked about them so much that one of my professors offered to try to catch one for me at her dacha (summer home). The European Hedgehogs are a larger cousin of the African Pygmy Hedgehogs and are not legal to own in the U.S.

As a child, I rescued injured wildlife and spent most of my free time in the woods, creek and mountain behind our house catching tadpoles and crayfish. I have always been fascinated by every living thing.

Unfortunately, hedgehogs are not legal to own in Pennsylvania and many other areas of the country. I lived in Pennsylvania until 2002 when I moved to Baltimore. I worked 2 full-time jobs in Baltimore which left no room for any other pets than my Bengal cat. In 2004, My husband and I moved to Virginia. I did more research on hedgehogs and got on a waiting list.

In 2006, I adopted my first hedgehogs. It took 8 years from the time I wanted one so badly until I was finally able to have one as a pet. I was surprise to find out one of the hedgies I brought in was pregnant. She had a sweet family of 4 hoglets and I learned a lot about caring for those little ones.

I have learned quite a bit since I got my first hedgehog pair. I joined the International Hedgehog Registry and began registering my babies. I do not breed any hedgehogs unless they are pedigreed with no known genetic illnesses. I bathe my hedgehogs with warm water and a drop of olive oil to keep their skin healthy and free of mites once per month. I love my hedgehogs and make sure they are happy and healthy at all times.

Hedgehogs are a special animal that deserve to be protected. In the wild, they live a nervous life hiding from predators and burrowing away to stay safe when they are not out hunting for their meal. In captivity, a hedgehog learns to trust and realizes it is safe and protected. The best part of hedgehog pet ownership is the bond that is made between hedgehog and person that allows companionship and trust for an otherwise nervous solitary creature. In the wild, hedgehogs live an average of 2 years, but in captivity they can live up to 7. Although, I disagree with a lot of “wild” animals being kept as pets, I believe hedgehogs to be one of the exceptions. They do exceptionally well in captivity and live a calmer, longer, more healthy and less stressed life.

My family has been very supportive. I have 2 teenage daughters and I’m a stay at home mom and help run our nonprofit animal sanctuary. I am truly lucky and blessed to have a hobby/business that I can enjoy with my family. My husband helps with my web site, video production and marketing side. Shannon at Dreamflower Meadows has also been a tremendous help to me. She sold me most of my herd and she is very knowledgable about hedgehogs. Gail from Millermeade Farms has also been wonderful and she has such a passion for animals, too. She helped me to build my herd.

I enjoy learning more about hedgehogs and sharing my knowledge with others. I am so fortunate to have a hobby that I truly enjoy. Thanks for visiting my site and let me know if I can be of any help.


Christie D. Riddle