RESCUES + REHOMING
Sanctuaries are all full and brimming over with unwanted pigs. In today's economic climate many have failed. Others have closed for lack of public interest. The few left are not able to continually take on more. Pigs live long lives and sanctuaries have filled up past capacity in the last 10 years.
Please look at ALL your options and consider the economic hardship on the rescues/ sanctuaries and the emotional hardship rehoming your pig will do.
What it's like for a pet pig to go to a new home
Pigs are very territorial animals. Many people think a pig will adjust to a new situation readily and happily. Few do. Unlike dogs, who will accept love from anyone who is willing to offer it, pigs have bonds with their human companions that are deep and all important to them. A new person to them is like a new person to you, a stranger.
Imagine having been raised in a loving home for most of your life, your mom feeds you and talks to you and rubs your belly and covers you up with a blanket at night. She is your life. You have your own bed with that special quilt and the cat who cuddles with you. Then one day you are dumped at a strange place full of pigs who want to beat you up and have to sleep in a barn with not a word from your mom ever again. Everything that had been your life is gone. Everything. Your home, your bed, your family. You are an outcast, at the bottom of the pecking order; life is not good.
The bonds pigs make with For the pig to be moved into a rescue or foster, no matter how wonderful it is or how well run, is a trauma. The older the pig the greater the difficulty. Some older pigs have been known to die from the heartbreak of being cut off from everyone and everything they knew. humans, because they were deprived as piglets of making the same bonds with others of their kind, are lifetime bonds. Its part of their emotional makeup, just as it is with humans.
Finding a smaller. less demanding home may be in his best interests, though the emotional trauma will only be softened, not eliminated. A prospective private home should be aware that a pig thrust into their lives from a loving home of many years, will often be depressed or angry and may suddenly begin biting or destroying the place.. "acting out" his emotional pain.
What it costs a sanctuary to take in another pig
When you contact a rescue, foster or sanctuary the person whom you reach, will very likely be tired and financially on the edge of a cliff, and not particularly sympathetic to your story of divorce or moving. Most sanctuary owners work 12 or more hours a day tending to the pigs and raising the funds to feed them and care for them. Or trying to rush between a day job and tending them after the sun goes down.
If you are able to get your pig into a rescue/sanctuary or foster there is the expense. Are you planning to pay for his upkeep? Pigs live a long time. It costs $300+ a year to take care of a potbellied pig in good health. The years after 12 are often very expensive ones, as arthritis and dental care begins, and whatever disease ultimately claims them at the end of their life will usually require a good deal of vet expense, and a backhoe costs around $200 to dig a grave.
How can YOU help??
You can help pig sanctuaries and rescues in many many ways. Donations are ALWAYS welcome. Donations do not always have to be money, you can donate time to physically help, donate your networking skills, donate time to the rescue giving belly rubs. You can host a blanket drive or hay drive or pumpkin drive for a local pig rescue. You can simply reach out and ask how you can help them. Most pig rescues average 25+ pigs. Can you imagine caring for 25+ pigs? How about 600+? That is what several of these heroes do every single day.
Here are several ways you can help that don't require a monetary donation:
Ask the rescue/ foster or sanctuary if they have amazon wish list, if not, ask them if they would be ok with you creating one for them
Ask if they need someone to take pictures and write up stories for their animals to be added to their website or social media pages. There is so much that has to be done on a daily basis and if you throw in an unexpected emergency on top of what they already have to do, things that seem insignificant to most people get put on the back burner. These things can literally help a lot though. These stories that seem insignificant can have a HUGE impact on everyday people who don't get to read about these things every day
Simply sharing their posts or links to their website or fundraisers is what may be needed, and that literally doesn't cost you a dime.
Help network adoptable pigs at these rescues, and spread the message they're trying to get across to others.
You can help them transport a pig in need, or maybe write letters to big organizations asking for donations of supplies. These types of actions can really help the people who have gone above and beyond to take in the un-adoptable pigs, the pigs that no one else wanted, the pigs that required extensive medical care or expertise.
Find out if a rescue/sanctuary or foster has a volunteer program, if not, ask them if they would like you to coordinate one. Perhaps they would love to do one, but feel like they need a major clean-up effort before they could even think about one. Offer to help coordinate that or go help DO that. If your heart is in the right place, your generous gift of time will be very much appreciated.
Here is a list of rescues/ sanctuaries that could use your help. These rescues are NOT posted for you to call to hand your pig over!
If you need to rehome your pig
PLEASE do your research! People can talk and say all the right things. It doesn't matter what questions you ask, dishonest people will be able to answer questions to your satisfaction because they already know what you want to hear. PLEASE ask questions before handing your pig over to someone else. Go to their property and check things out. Ask other people in the pig community what they think about them and research. Research names, addresses, phone numbers. If someone isn't willing to give you this information, you may want to consider taking your pig elsewhere. There are a lot of groups on FB that are known to help rehome pigs, but it's never a guarantee that its an appropriate piggy approved home. YOU are responsible for checking things out. People can be awful sometimes. And not doing your homework can lead to a less than desirable outcome and even worse, death of your beloved pig.
Here is a checklist of things to be sure the person who is getting your pig is knowledgeable and ready for adopting a pig.
Google that person's name to be sure it's not showing up elsewhere in otter animal situations. Disclose everything to them. Don't hold back, you don't want your pig to be rehomed several times, you only want to do this once. Once you are able to witness a pig grieving, you'll understand why. There isn't much worse than a pig crying real tears because his/her human mom is leaving them in some strange place.
Find out if they'll keep you updated or ask if they will send you pictures of your pig or if you can visit.
Ask what happens if it doesn't work out? Should they call you? Or a designated friend? Was there more than one person interested?
Ask them about their experience with pigs, do they have a pig of their own? Did they ever have one? What happened to it if they no longer do? Did the novelty wear off, did they grow too big? Did the pig have behavioral issues? Did they just get tired of the responsibility? Did they move to an area where pigs aren't allowed? Are they zoned now?? And if they've rehomed a pig, Why?
Is this person living in an area that is zoned to have pig(s)?
Very important: Do they have a vet that sees + treats pigs?
Is their property and house set up to have pigs? Do they have a fence to protect your pig? Do they have other animals (like dogs) that might attack or pose a threat to your pig? Ask for pictures of where they plan to keep your pig. Ask for pictures of their property and other animals if they have them.
Ask others if they've heard of that person, but don't make your decision based on someone else facts. Look them up for yourself or ask the person directly.
If the person who is interested in taking your pig is unwilling to answer ANY of these questions, they are not the right person for your pig. If you feel uncomfortable, TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCT! You'll be glad you took these extra precautions!
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