The Ringworm Story – “No Criminal”

“No criminal”

After Ian and Julie’s thread was locked, Heavenlyhogs began a new one entitled “No Criminal”. In the first post she pastes an email she says she got from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The email is dated 5 Jun although in the newspaper article she claims she contacted them in April. She also says that any further “slander” will be taken up with her solicitor.

There then follows 28 pages of posts. Many of these are written by Chaz who doggedly plugs away at Heavenlyhogs, repeatedly bringing up the fact that Heavenlyhogs never did (and to date never has) supply the items she promised and the fact that Pickle had never been registered either in the UK nor with the International Hedgehog Register. She also points out that she should have been informed about the injury to Pickle’s nose before he was delivered to her house. Many other well known hedgehog breeders, some of whom are openly hostile towards Heavenlyhogs, heavily criticised the fact that she still hadn’t had her hogs examined by her vet and expressed their concerns about her husbandry, given that she had reported having quite a few problems with several of her animals.

One member even goes as far as reporting Heavenlyhogs to the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Heavenlyhogs said that after their inspection the RSPCA went away happy, the person who reported her stated that this was not the case and what they actually said was that she had been given time to make improvements.

Throughout the thread Heavenlyhogs states that she will repay Chaz her vet’s bills but initially says that she will not pay Ian and Julie’s due to the nasty posts they had been making about her. This later changes when one member posts that the herd of the German breeder she bought her 3 imported hogs from was infected with ringworm. Heavenlyhogs denies having any knowledge of this fact.

Heavenlyhogs then sent an email to Chaz and Ian and Julie saying that she would pay their vet’s bills once they send copies of the invoices. Ian and Julie said that they would like their cheque made out to a hedgehog charity of their choice. Heavenlyhogs later emailed the parties concerned saying that no refund would be made unless they first returned the hedgehogs to her.

At the beginning of December Heavenlyhogs informed Ian and Julie that she would only pay them £100 of the over £150 vet’s bills they had incurred up to that time. This offer was withdrawn on 21 December when Heavenlyhogs stated that her partner was going to carefully check the forum posts and emails before any money would be paid.

Chapter VII – The Aftermath