A charity is warning against buying exotic pets after an African pygmy hedgehog was dumped like a piece of rubbish in a wet cardboard box.

The African pygmy hedgehog, nicknamed Hedgy, was brought to the Blue Cross hospital in Victoria after she was found by a passer-by in Southwark.

She had lost most of her spines and her skin was covered in sores.

Credit: Blue Cross

Blue Cross fears that many more unusual and exotic pets will end up suffering or being abandoned because owners don’t have the expert knowledge to care for them properly.

Credit: Blue Cross

We were really shocked by the state Hedgy was in. Her skin condition had been neglected for so long that it had caused almost all her spines to fall out and she is so overweight that she can’t even curl into a ball properly. She certainly wouldn’t have survived for much longer if she hadn’t been found.

Shakira Miles, Blue Cross Vet Nurse