Updated: Jul 17, 2018
Submitted by Pig Pal: Hillary Janzen | How one Teacher's kind act saved a little pig and turned into the most amazing adventure she and her school would have.
Hillary is an Elementary School Teacher in the Florida Keys. For months, she and her principal would joke about getting a pig for the school. It was more of a pseudo joke, the kind that's underlined with more truth and when the conversation is over, you daydream and still think about it. Well ,the Universe must have heard them, because a few months later, a friend of Hillary's, who is a wildlife trapper in Orlando, posted on his Facebook that he had rescued a baby piglet from someone’s porch. Hillary followed the post, keeping up with the efforts to locate an owner, but no owner was found. After many attempts, her friend posted, asking if anyone was interested in adopting the little guy. Seeing that no one was stepping up, Hillary called her principal and gave her the go-ahead to go for it!
Hamlet was about 5lbs when she picked him up on August 2, 2017. He was so tiny and adorable! Her heart was instantly won over though she had no idea what she was getting into. She spent a lot of time doing research, and figuring things out through trial and error. Eventually, she started to get the hang of the whole pig parent thing. He was a lot of work, tried her patience, but through support, training and perseverance, she said, "He has turned into the most amazing pig! Hamlet is about 90lbs now and he’s just a big hunk of love!"
He comes to school with her every day. He gets so excited and jumps right into the backseat of her SUV. Hillary is a Special Ed teacher and see kids in multiple classes. Sometimes the students read to Hamlet and they love when they get to pet him or feed him as a reward for their hard work. (He loves it too!) Hamlet is normally in the office to greet students every morning and afternoon. He has a large outdoor pen where he plays in the mornings and comes back into the office in the afternoon to nap and hang out. When Hillary goes into other classrooms, Hamlet gets to visit too if he's been a good pig.
Hamlet lives with Hillary, her husband, and two rescue dogs. He’s been a great addition to their family and is overall very well behaved. She says, "He cracks us up every day and is just so much fun to be around. I never imagined that I would have a pig, but now I can’t imagine my life without him!"
The great things about pigs, is once they bond with their people, they generally adapt pretty quickly to the lifestyle and habits of their family. Hillary and her husband are an adventurous couple and Hamlet is right there along with them. He has had some really fun experiences, and has gone kayaking, got his school picture taken, painted a masterpiece, visits with new people everyday and then gets to lounge on the couch when the day comes to an end. It's a hard life for a pampered pig(wink wink). Unfortunately, not all pigs are luckily enough to have a family...
We hope that by reading this, you help us spread the word about adopting/rescuing pigs before purchasing from a breeder. Over 85% 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. Share Hamlet's story with your pig pals to 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 go to www.oinkboxes.com/rescues-partners OR reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help get you the information you need.