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Sunday, January 20, 2002

Story: Eight Little Pigs

A True Pig Story by Sally Sullivan-Hall

A friend forwarded some pigtures to me, of PBPs that were going to be shot and left for coyotes if someone didn't come and get them. I was told there were nine PBPs free ranging on 140 acres, NO PENS! Of the nine there were three sows and six babies. There was one three weeks old and 5 four months old. So the wheels started turning! I was told that Neil had already shot the adult boar and left him for the coyotes, which in fact turned out to be true!

After doing some homework there was a realization that these poor pigs were seven hours away from where I live. I knew that we had to do some brainstorming to figure out how to rescue them and bring them home and then to figure out housing.  But no matter how much we tried to figure out a plan we knew in our hearts that we were on our way. Believe me, I am just a pet pig owner, not a rescue person, but I couldn't let these pigs be killed.

Off we went to eastern Washington to get the pigs. We left on Wednesday and spent the night with our friend George and his wife. George lived next door to the owner of the pigs Neil. We had found out what Neil's only purpose for these pigs  was and that was to eat them, but he found out that they were not for eating as they didn't taste to good.

We were told there were nine pigs, but by the time we got there the tiny three week old baby girl had died/disappeared so now there were eight. We didn't know what to expect as far as their condition. The temperature was around 25 degrees and there was frost everywhere. Plan A didn't work so we went to Plan B. While we were gearing up for Plan B Neil hands me a bag of feed which I thought was some PBP feed. Needless to say it wasn't PBP food it was a bunch of used tea bags, chicken bones and almost rotten produce. I stood there horrified at the fact that this was what those poor pigs were being fed.

We managed to get them into a quancit hut. It was a metal building with sturdy wood fencing across the front of it. We closed the fencing and they went ballistic! We were unprepared for what happened next. Two of the babies went airborne over the backs of the sows and escaped over the fence. We did capture the remaining six including the sows. We then decided to leave some of the creates with the pigs in them inside the building thinking that they might attract the two babies that had escaped. Well, it worked for one of the babies. We now had seven of the eight pigs.

We tried several times to catch the last baby, who we now called Loner. We would go into the house hoping that Loner would calm down enough so we could catch him, but there was no way he was coming near us.

We waited as long as we could for Loner to go back into the building but still it was unsuccessful. We now had to think of the other pigs who were still in the crates and the long trip home.

It was very emotional for me to think that poor Loner was left behind. I just knew that I would never see him again and we had just taken all his family away. It was already very cold up there that day and getting colder and he had no one to keep him warm. I though he would be eaten by the coyotes or some other predator. We left the crate there just in case Loner would come back. It was agreed that Neil would not harm Loner and if caught we would leave on a moments notice to get there to pick him up.

As a post script, the three sows (which were pregnant) went to a sanctuary and have been spayed. There was one baby girl that has been placed in a wonderful home with a family who are my friends. The boars have been neutered and are now part of my family.