Hartlepool Council has admitted workers painted lines over a dead hedgehog rather than move it off the road.
Contractors had been painting yellow lines in and around the town in preparation for the Tall Ships Races. The hedgehog was found on Hart Lane.
Allison Hart, whose mother-in-law lives on the street said people were asked to move their cars but nobody was asked if they had a shovel to move the animal.
A council spokesperson said it was "an unfortunate incident".
Mrs Hart, 37, who works in a florist and fruit shop took a picture on her mobile phone and showed it to disgusted customers.
She said: "It's unbelievable.
"They knocked on people's doors to get them to move their cars, but whoever did this didn't even ask for a shovel to move the poor hedgehog.
"All they had to do is kick it to one side. It's shocking really."
A Hartlepool Borough Council spokeswoman said: "Contractors have done a phenomenal amount of line painting in and around the town in preparation for the Tall Ships Races.
"This is obviously an unfortunate incident, but it was the only one reported during the massive project."