Sunday, October 9, 2011

There's lots to be thankful for......

But today I am especially thankful that two more unwanted potbellied pigs have found safety here on the island! 

Sophie-Lyn and Piggy-Sue

The story begins several months ago, when an SPCA staff member gave my contact info to one of their horse foster moms, who had expressed interest in fostering or adopting a potbellied pig or two.  As most readers here know, I volunteer with Hearts on Noses potbellied pig sanctuary. The sanctuary is located in Mission, BC, where I used to live and to foster for them.  I'm now their Vancouver Island liaison.

Kimberly filled in the application form, I did the homecheck,  we visited with another pig adopter, and Kim and Brent began building a home for the pigs that would eventually arrive. 

Piggy Palace, almost complete

Meanwhile, back at the ranch - er, sanctuary - Janice, who owns the sanctuary, received a phone call from some people in the Okanagan who wanted to get rid of their pigs.  Although Janice had no room at the sanctuary she agreed to see what she could do.  Once someone decides they don't want their pigs anymore, you just know it's not gonna have a good ending unless someone who cares steps up to the plate. Thankfully, Janice is someone who cares.

And so is Kimberly.  Yesterday, on very short notice and on the Canadian thanksgiving long weekend, she hauled her horse trailer across to the mainland and up to Hope, where the pigs were transfered from the previous owner's vehicle to hers, and then she hauled them home. 
Almost home!

Home to ten acres, with a charming log-cabin pig house built just for them and stuffed full of fresh straw, and their own little yard full of trees and greenery and dirt and rocks, and a little pool where they can splash, and some shavings for their potty area. 

As is so often the case with animal surrenders, the pigs were nowhere near as healthy as we had been led to believe.  Their nails have obviously not been cut for several years - some are 3-4 inches long, and they have difficulty walking because of it. 

Overgrown nails

Piggy-Sue has a distinct limp and a deformed or injured back foot which will be looked at by a vet as soon as possible. Both are very overweight, Sophie particularly so, with her belly dragging on the ground and the rolls of fat around her face bringing her dangerously close to being fat-blind.

Sophie-Lyn, overweight and nearly fat-blind
 They are somewhat dehydrated, with very scaly skin and teeny tiny hard balls of poops.  They have been fed a diet of hogfeed instead of potbellied pig feed, and bakery goods instead of veggies and fruits.  Even though they are owner-surrenders, they truly were in need of rescue.  It's unlikely they would have survived in this shape for too much longer - certainly not for a normal pig lifespan.
On the plus side, they are social girls and they handled the transport well.  They are vocal, chatting with each other and making appreciative grunts in response to lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, and other piggy delights.

Chowing down on healthy stuff
Yum! Salad!

Sophie-Lyn loves to be scratched and stroked, and Peggy-Sue, who is a little more shy, doesn't seem to mind being touched either. 

Kimberly gives Sophie-Lyn a backrub

They are already exploring their new yard a little, rooting around in the greenery and scoping out the place:

I like it here!

The dogs came by to politely say hello, the ducks and cats stayed out of sight, and the horses watched every move from the field beyond:

Is that what I think it is?  Are they gonna live here???

And so Sophie-Lyn and Piggy-Sue begin their new life.  They are currently in foster with Kim, but I'm betting they've found their forever home.


Happy Thanksgiving, Sophie-Lyn and Piggy-Sue. Happy Thanksgiving, Kimberly and Brent. I am truly thankful today for people who care about pigs.


K-Koira said...

Wow, those are some majorly fat pigs! Glad they are in foster care and going to be properly taken care of now. The dog I fostered for a couple days (until another foster home opened up) had nails so long they were disjointing his toes when he walked, and his dew claw was a complete circle, and just about ready to dig into him.

Janice Gillett said...

Thank you for such a nice write Jean. These girls are quite pretty pigs and look very much like my Flower here. Hog grower does nasty things to the growth stages in pot belly pigs , why do people feed a product that clearly reads " hog Grower" on the bag? You would think in just the name of it that it would be a big enough red flag. ;o(( These pigs have arrived to a heaven on earth , complete with an Angel. Covering them up with a pink blanket speaks volumes to me ;o))

And her horses are gorgeous and i hope not too disturbed by there new pig freinds.

Good job Jean, BRAVO!!!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful Thanksgiving story Jean. The piggies looks like they like their new digs.