There are a lot of saints we probably haven't heard of. We're familiar with the popular ones, like Saint Patrick, Patron Saint of People Getting Drunk in His Honor, and Saint Francis of Assisi, known for his strong affection for animals. We know some of the more obscure ones, like Saint Guinefort
: We're not sure about Saint Tiggywinkles
, but we are in awe of his works.
is the world's leading wildlife hospital. It was founded in 1978 by Les and Sue Stocker, along with their son Colin. Until 1983 the Stockers funded their work from their savings. Then in February of that year the project became a Registered Charity with the official title of The Wildlife Hospital Trust.
They've helped a variety of species, including badgers, owls, swan, and deer. During the drought of 1984, they began to see more hedgehogs, and worked to raise awareness of their plight, asking people to leave out water and dog food for them. Many people started looking more closely at their local hedgehogs, and so many were brought in for treatment for injuries that the hospital opened a new shed as a Hedgehog-Only unit, and called it "St. Tiggywinkles."
The hospital continues to look after all species of wildlife that are brought in, rehabilitating and releasing into the wild if possible, or keeping the animals in as natural an environment as possible at the hospital. Euthanasia is a last resort.
While the hospital doesn't turn any wild animal away, avian
prey, or predator
Hedgehogs are still among the favorites.
Some of the animals are up for adoption. If you're looking for a weasel, stoat, or polecat
or perhaps a buzzard or a badger
Or a hedgehog
St. Tiggywinkles is the patron saint of baby wild animals.