Need a pet? What not a hedgehog 

By GEOFF FORESTER

Monitor staff

Published: 02-27-2023 7:45 PM

One of the region’s most unusual stores says it has gotten a boost from an unlikely ally: Franklin’s new Mill City Park, a whitewater paddling destination.

“There has been a lot more foot traffic since they opened up the water park,” said Sam Hileri, owner of Granite State Hedgehogs on Franklin’s Central Street, a pet store that sells only pygmy hedgehogs and hedgehog accessories.

Hedgehogs are mammals. They curl up in a ball when they feel threatened and have spiney quills for protection from predators, like a tiny porcupine.

The store is open three days a week and remains a side gig for Hileri, who says it covers its costs but, more importantly, provides a terrific non-monetary reward for a guy whose first words were about loving animals. “How many people do you know that could say they hang out with hedgehogs every day? That's a great feeling!”

Granite State Hedgehogs says it is a state and federally licensed professional hedgehog breeding facility.

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