Dr. Tim had occasion to be on site at the Erie County SPCA and happened to mention that there was a pig from another SPCA that was possibly coming to Almost Home Animla Sanctuary. It had been comficated from a cruelty case and needed a place to safely live out its life. The response he got was "Wait, you have to take our pig! please take our pig too." "I'm not taking Henna', he said, "She loves it here". Henna is a very large pig that's been with the Erie County SPCA for many years. She's very loved, very comfortable in her beautiful pen and helps with the SPCA's farm animal education. "No, not Henna", she said. 'Let me show you." Out to the SPCA's barnyard they went. There was Henna in her pile of fresh straw with her food and water dishes full and her lovely name plaque on her fence that gave her the clout of a very spoiled pig.
Dr. Tim then glanced over at the pen next to Henna's. There was a much smaller pig with a dirty pen, no visible straw, tipped over dishes and a pile of rocks and bricks for a bed. See, his SPCA compnaion said. She's giving us really bad P.R. We get complaints because people think we're mistreating her. "Why is her pen full of rocks and bricks?" Tim asked. And therein was discovered the problem. It ws explained to him that Daisy was just a piglet a short time ago when the SPCA got a a call that she was running down the main street in a neighboring city, most likely an escapee on her way to market or auction, eventually headed into the food chain. When she came to the SPCA, she quickly became cage crazy, a condition that some animals suffer when confinement is intolerable to them. In her boredom, Daisy did what bored pigs do, she rooted. And she rooted, and she rooted and she rooted. Unfortunately, her pen was butted up against the SPCA's main building. She was literally bringing up the foundation. They were in danger of structural problems. This obsessive rooting also quickly buried her fresh straw and water, making it appear that she wasn't given any.
Being the adventurous type that he is, Dr. Tim agreed to bring Daisy to Almost Home Animal Sanctuary. We were both pig rookies, but I've learned so much in the last few weeks that you'd think I had a brain transplant. For instance, did you know pigs are the fourth most intelligent species on earth, only below humans, primates and dolphins? I've learned it well enough that I'm careful not to let her see the password for my cell phone or where I keep my car keys. We've also learned what sweet, personable creatures pigs are. Daisy very quickly settled into a routine at the sanctuary and is a vital part of the whole wonderful gang.
In the mornings, it has been Dr. Tim's tradition to start the day out walking...well at first the dogs and a few of the cats that liked to tag along. Shortly thereafter I'd see him heading for the walking path surrounded by happy dogs, several cats trailing behing and a small group of goats that don't want to miss a thing. My morning look out the window is now much more amusing as I watch Tim walking in the center of a group of dogs, just head of a few trailing cats, mixed in with a bunch of curious goats and a very happy pig trotting along behind. Who needs Animal Planet?
We have also learned where the terms "pig out" and "eating like a pig" come from. Pigs obviously live for cuisine. And "when pigs fly" is not such a far fetched concept. You should see this pretty pink girl when she's up in the woods and we call her for lunch. She literally gallops down the path and through the yard, and yes, they can smile! The sanctuary has taken on a whole new dynamic by adding Daisy to the mix. And we're so grateful she had the good sense to bail out before she got to wherever she was going that fateful day she ended up with the SPCA. It would have been a shame for this sweet girl to end up in a slaughter house. Stay tuned, her boyfriend is set to arrive in the near future. Fortunately, Roy is neutered!
Almost Home Animal Sanctuary is a 501(C)3 not for profit organization. Your donations to the sanctuary are tax deductible and go 100% to helping the animals. They can be sent to Almost Home, 6251 Hart Rd., Little Valley, N.Y. 14755 and are greatly needed and appreciated.
Welcome to our blog site. Pictures of the animals on arrival are combined with stories after their rescue.
Timothy O'Leary DVM
Timothy O'Leary DVM