Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Can you say Happy Birthday?

I've written before about how much courage I think it takes to run a sanctuary. The endless hours of heavy work, the frustration at the never ending requests from people unable or unwilling to keep their animals for life, the fear when a loved animal resident becomes ill, the worry about where the money for vets and feed and property maintenance will come from, the difficulty recruiting and keeping reliable volunteers.

Hard work?? But we're so CUTE! 

And I KNOW that most of my readers get it - most of you came here to follow stories of the critters because you, too, are animal lovers. And, as animal lovers, you probably recall that a few weeks ago the Cowichan and District SPCA had 24 potbellied pigs surrendered to them, several of which were pregnant.  Sadly, finding homes for potbellied pigs is next to impossible - hence the massive numbers that end up in farm animal sanctuaries, and specifically pot bellied pig sanctuaries, across North America.

And yet, you'll also know how intelligent and funny and strong-willed and loving pot bellied pigs are. At least, you'll know that if you followed the stories I wrote way back at the beginning of this blog when I fostered two, then twelve, potbellied pigs for Hearts on Noses Sanctuary, a not-for-profit registered charity now located in Mission, BC.

Did foster mama bring us some treats?

A month ago, I wrote about transporting three of the SPCA pigs to Hearts on Noses.  Janice Gillett, who runs the sanctuary had kindly agreed to take them in.  She named the mama Rainbow, and the two babies Plumb and Tierra.

Rainbow in transit

Janice welcomes Tierra and Plumb

She took them in even though she has forty pigs there already and  struggles financially. She took them in even though she has a heart condition and needs heart surgery pretty damn soon. She took them in even though slogging through rain and snow and mud and blazing sun to feed all those pigs, to make sure they all get turns in the pasture, to scoop their poop and fix their houses and bring them straw for their beds and water for their dishes and feed for their bellies is hard work - darn hard work!

She took them in even though she knew she was somehow going to have to raise at least $1500 for their spays, in addition to the monthly costs of feeding three more mouths.

I hope this place has enough food for us!

One anonymous donor offered to pay for one spay. Several others have donated to raise another approximately $500 online at For the Love of Pigs, on Fundrazr.

In another month or two, the babes (and their mama, who is barely more than a babe herself)  will be ready for spaying, and we still need to raise at least another $500 - preferably more, as there are always more costs....medicine, unexpected emergencies, ongoing costs for growing piglets, alterations to the shelter and fencing.

An adorable house sits by the edge of Hearts on Noses' driveway,
waiting to be moved and fenced for the new piggy residents

And I know you get tired of being asked for money. Many of you are facing challenging financial times yourself. But if your good friend was celebrating a birthday, would you find a couple of bucks for a card? Maybe even buy them a cup of coffee, or spend a few dollars more on a gift, or a dinner, or a bottle of wine?  Would you?

Birthdays are meant to be CELEBRATED! 

Well, today is Janice's birthday!  If you appreciate the hard work she does for the animals, if you are thankful that there is a place piggies can go to live out their lives, knowing they are safe from abuse and neglect and abandonment,  perhaps you might think of her as a friend. So take that money you'd spend for a card and stamp, that money for the drink or the fancy cupcake you might buy her, and instead donate it to Rainbow, Plumb, and Tierra's spay fund.  Let's see that figure rise as the birthday wishes pour in.
Rainbow, Plumb and Tierra

Or go to Canada Helps and donate to Hearts on Noses there - you can add a message to specify it is for the spays of the piglets.  You'll even get a tax receipt.

Two dollars, five dollars, twenty dollars......whatever you can afford, whatever you might scrape together to wish your friend, your very courageous pig-loving friend,  a very happy birthday. Let's make this a birthday to remember - the birthday when the gifts didn't arrive in gaily coloured paper but instead arrived in the form of money for spays of three more rescued potbellied pigs.

Janice,  thank you for all you do for the pigs.  Thank you for adding Rainbow, Plumb and Tierra to your already large family.  Happy Birthday, my friend.  I'm heading to Canada Helps now.

Let's all head off to make a donation!
(Plumb front, Tierra rear) 

Again, here's the links for two ways to donate to Rainbow's, Plumb's, and Tierra's spay fund, the best birthday gift you can give our pig-loving friend:
Canada Helps
For the Love of Pigs

(Confession:  Some of the photos in this post were stolen from Janice's own page, since I'm too far away to get new photos.  I'm pretty sure she won't mind). 


Janice Gillett said...

OH Jean , I just loved your pictures and the way you tell the story for the pig children and i and than turning into a gentle fundraiser. Thank you so much my Friend.

Mark reimer said...

Janice has a heart of gold when it comes to the pigs at hearts on noses . She is committed to their happiness every day ,and everynight ,taking in the three newbies doesn't surprise me ,if she could she'd take in all of the creatures that don't have a voice they'd be living in mission with Janice !!! 🤗
Great story thanks jean

Jana Shishkin said...

Beautifully written Jean! Much deserved praise and awareness brought to an amazingly selfless, animal loving woman. Thank you!