I am starting a small pig sanctuary. Wow, there it is…a dream come true. I have been a volunteer, then a full-time caregiver and volunteer coordinator at a farm sanctuary since 2014. In that time I learned what really matters: the animals, their care, and their happiness. I learned to be part of a real team of dedicated individuals working tirelessly for a shared cause. I learned how to work with staff, volunteers, the public, and other sanctuary organizations to do the very best for both the animals in my care and the others out there still in danger. And most importantly, I learned the joy and heartbreak of opening my heart to animals in need, and I found my true passion in life. There are so many animals out there in need, but I will focus on one section of that population: pigs. I feel this is where I can do the most good. My experience with pig rescue, care, and advocacy will give me the confidence to do the best for them. I want to offer rescue support, a forever home for as many pigs as is possible, hospice care, and the opportunity to ease the suffering of others thru advocacy and education.
When this dream began to take shape, I went to look at a property with a friend. The property had been a small scale ”farm to table” type facility. Pigs, goats and other smaller animals had been raised to go to slaughter at the frighteningly young age that most animals bred for food face. We saw some of the tools of the trade around the barn, and a chill went through me. The agent mentioned that there might be a pig still there; I insisted we find him immediately. That is when I meet Arthur, a beautiful 3 1/2 month old piglet. He came right to me, looking me in the face as if to ask my intentions. I knew it immediately. “I am not leaving without this pig.” The agent was confused, but after realizing I was completely serious, got the owner to agree to let me have him. I am very lucky to have friends who share my passion, so I had support and supplies on the way in minutes. When I called my friend Mike Stura from Skylands Rescue and Sanctuary to ask for a temporary home for Arthur he did not hesitate to say yes. So now Arthur, who was the last pig to be threatened with death at this place, will be the first pig to be offered sanctuary there. The place where Arthur was meant to die young and afraid will be the place where he learns to live, to love, and be loved in return. He will welcome new friends, he will be a teacher, he will get to be an old man, and finally, he will die in his own bed surrounded by people who love him.
This transformation will take a lot of work. I am up for the challenge, and I am lucky to have the support of experienced friends and connections in the sanctuary community to help me with this enormous task. But I need more. There is a huge amount of work to be done, and we cannot do it with passion alone. So can you help Arthur and me make our dream come true, for us and for all the others out there waiting for help?