Updated: Mar 19
Submitted by pig pal: Michelle Sturman and her three pigs: Nibbles, Squeakers & Tater Tot.
WARNING: Graphic content displayed. Some images depict the horrible conditions the pigs were rescued from.
Our story takes place with three little pigs, one a runaway wandering around looking for his forever home. Another abandoned because he was deemed "too big" and the third subjected to immense cruelty her whole life. (Don't worry though, this story has a happy ending!)
The first pig in this story is Nibbles. His home was with a seemingly nice couple who thought a pig would make good birthday present. He was well cared for, and loved at first, but one day that all changed. As he was growing and kept growing, from a tiny piglet, to a true mini pig, his family decided that they didn’t want him anymore. They were promised a false truth from the breeder, "that “teacup” pigs stay small forever and will never weigh more than 25lbs." Once he grew over 25lbs they immediately dumped him at a pound. Nibbles was no longer cared for like he used to be. He was left with his harness on, (which had to be surgically cut and removed from his skin) left in a cold, dark, hard surface cage and it seemed his life would tragically come to end there, unless an unlikely hero came to save him...
Meanwhile, the second pig in this story, Squeakers made a house in the woods. Not much is known about his previous life and care. He was a nomad, a drifter, and often took refuge living among wild boars in nature. He was nervous, kind at times, but aggressive and unsure about trusting humans. He was more wild than domestic, but nonetheless was seeking love and companionship. One day while he was on a little walk about, a human saw him on the side of the road. They scooped him up and took him to a shelter where he waited and waited and waited, wondering if he would ever be loved.
The third pig tale is about Tater Tot. Tater's origin story is one of tragedy & despair. Tater Tot and her sister came from many abusive homes, being passed along time and time again, it's rumored they were being raised to breed. One day the two pigs were purchased by nasty humans, who left them in the most vile and cruel conditions. She and her sister were dumped in a mostly empty, in-ground pool, with no shade, no clean water and nothing but a cage to sleep in. There were vicious dogs that would bark ferociously and try to attack and maul them. Tragically, one day, a dog got lose and attacked Tater’s sister. It killed her, drowning her in the deep end of the pool. The humans did nothing. They left the dead pig floating in the water, forcing Tater to drink from it, as it was her only water source.
All hope seemed lost for these three little pigs, but as luck would have it, word spread of the pigs conditions to a kind and generous women. A fairy pig mother. One by one, she rescued the the pigs. She knew it wasn’t going to be easy as they were afraid of humans, traumatized and untrusting. She worked at rehabilitating the pigs, slowly gaining their trust, showing them unconditional love, and kindness that they had never seen before. Her heart was full as the progress the pigs were showing grew. Seeing that they needed more space, she saved her money, and built up the large wooded property she lived on. She began immediately working on the piggies’ natural environment. After a few months of prepping the land, getting materials and acquiring help, “Piggy Land” was finally finished! The pigs now enjoy a natural habitat, tons of love and pampering daily. Upon arriving in her care, Michelle made each of them a promise:
You will never worry about food, shelter, excellent vet care or love again. For you are now in your forever home. If you didn't know love before, HERE, you will know love for the rest of your life... I won't ever hurt you or make you do anything but be a pig. As long as God allows me to have you, this is your forever home. When that day comes where your mortal life ends, wait for me at the Rainbow Bridge, because I WILL be there to get you all.
Nibbles, Squeakers and Tater Tot, are now enjoying the recent opening of Piggy Land and living happily ever after!
Michelle Sturman has 14 years of experience rescuing pigs. She seeks out the hurt, the violent, and the tormented pigs giving them a 2nd lease on life. She runs the FB group Pot Belly Pigs Education Fun and Laughter and has made it part of her life’s work to educate the populous, and provide a safe refuge for extreme cases. Though the 3 pigs are living a good life now, and putting their past behind them, their physical scars are daily reminders of the cruelty humans have inflicted. Rescuing pigs is no easy feat, but with enough patience, love and gumption, these pigs get a second chance at a happy life and form new bonds that are unbreakable.
We hope that by reading this, you help us spread the word about adopting/rescuing pigs before purchasing from a breeder. 97% of pigs will be put into a foster, shelter or a rescue waiting to be re-homed. Most of these pigs are healthy, partially if not all the way trained, and need to be given a second chance on life. There are extreme cases, like the ones shared in this story, but with help from our pig pals we can get the word out about adoption/rescues. If you would like more information on how to help a rescue, education on pigs or how to adopt near Tennessee go to Shepards Green Sanctuary OR reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help get you the information you need.