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Monday, June 2, 2014

Cute and prickly: Hedgehogs finding homes as pets


Photo By Steven Senne/AP  In this May 6, 2014 photo hedgehog breeder and trainer Jennifer Crespo, of Gardner, Mass., holds "Circus," a one-year-old pet hedgehog, at her home in Gardner, Mass. Hedgehogs are steadily growing in popularity across the United States, despite laws in at least six states banning or restricting them as pets.
from:  chron.com
By RODRIQUE NGOWI, Associated Press
June 2, 2014 
GARDNER, Mass. (AP) — They are tiny animals with cute faces. They're covered in quills. They roll into prickly balls when they are scared. The ideal pet?

Hedgehogs are steadily growing in popularity across the United States, despite laws in at least six states banning or restricting them as pets.

Breeders say the trend is partly fueled by the fact that hedgehogs require less maintenance than dogs and cats, and because they emit little odor — in sharp contrast with rodents and rabbits. They are largely hypoallergenic and are solitary, making them ideal for those with a busy lifestyle.

Photo By Steven Senne/AP  In this May 6, 2014 photo Wyatt Crespo, 5, of Gardner, Mass., plays with with "Jambalaya," a six-month-old pet hedgehog, in Gardner, Mass. Hedgehogs are steadily growing in popularity across the United States, despite laws in at least six states banning or restricting them as pets.

"A hedgehog can hang out all day while you are at work, you can come home, hang out with it for a couple of hours or . you know, put it away," said Massachusetts-based hedgehog breeder Jennifer Crespo.

Crespo's 4-year-old son, Wyatt, sat on the sofa in their home recently, his arm wrapped around the neck of a German shepherd named Ares while an African pygmy hedgehog named Jambalaya clambered across his legs.

The attraction to the animals may have started with a video game — "Sonic" is a blue hedgehog who runs at supersonic speeds and curls into a ball to attack its enemies — but it has grown through people sharing pictures of their pets on social media and elsewhere online.


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