Things to look for in a pet store

The first thing to remember is that you are in a shop, the animals are on display to be sold, their sale is one of the most important things to a shop keeper, its their livelihood, they need to turn a profit to pay their mortgage.

A shop will not keep the hedgehogs in the same environment that we do, please remember that our hedgehogs are spoilt rotten and you don’t know what happens at night when the shop is closed for the day, there may be toys wheels and other things put in when we leave the shop and the owner locks up for the night, please think about this as you go through the shop.

Are the animals are kept in accommodation that is both suitable and clean

Are they supplied with appropriate food and water

Are they adequately protected from disease

Are the animals are provided with suitable accommodation and bedding material

Are they adequately exercised and visited at suitable intervals

Are reasonable precautions are taken to prevent and control the spread of diseases between animals

Concerns and reasons to report to your council

In the first instance try talking to staff and educating them in a positive way, offer to provide care sheets on keeping hedgehogs, put them into contact with the Rescue, BUT advise them that we are here to help in the form of advise, if they are willing to listen then we are willing to work with them.

Pet stores have to conform to the animal welfare act revised in 1983. This means there is a minimum standard of care. Most pet owners exceed this standard. As long as the health and safety of the animals are met the shop is fulfilling it’s duty of care.

Below are possible concerns that can validate investigation by RSPCA/SSPCA and local council.

Dead animals in sight

Seriously injured and/or ill animals in need of immediate veterinary care


Overcrowding to the point of danger

Lack of water and no reply or action when staff are made aware
Strong smell of urine, faeces, filth

Blood in cages

Abuse by staff to animals

Excessive insects and/pests within the premises

No or inappropriate shelter

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Category: When to Rescue FAQ


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