The Need For Sanctuary

....has never been greater. For the miniature pigs there are few homes available and a steadily decreasing number of sanctuary spaces. There are few new sanctuaries forming. And many older, established sanctuaries find themselves unable to cope with the increased demands and the sheer numbers of pigs needing sanctuary space.



For the larger farm pigs, the situation is even worse. Their size virtually eliminates any possibility of them finding a private home. The cost of their care and their need for larger spaces makes it difficult for sanctuaries to house large numbers of the "Gentle Giants".


Yet, as more and more Americans discover the plight of the factory farm pigs, an increasing number of farm pigs are being "rescued" every year. But rescuing a farm pig from the factory farm or the slaughter line is only the beginning. Once rescued, these pigs need a place to live out their lives and the well-intentioned rescuers quickly turn to sanctuaries to provide this lifetime care.

Finding the means to care for these large numbers of pigs is a daunting challenge. Many sanctuary directors are not well schooled in business practices or fund raising techniques. And traditional sanctuaries, by their nature, are costly, labor-intensive operations, existing primarily on donations, contributions and the occasional small grant.

Private citizens, corporations and philanthropic organizations are bombarded with requests to fund the rescue and care of a wide variety of animals. Pigs, and pig sanctuaries, must compete with the overwhelming demands for these finite resources. All too often, they find that they cannot successfully compete in a world where the "lowly pig" is not considered an animal worthy of saving, even by animal welfare and animal rescue groups. Pigs are, all too often, the "red-headed step children" of the animal rescue world.

Sanctuary owners and directors burn out at an alarming rate. It is a physically and emotionally demanding job, compounded by the fact that most pig sanctuaries are small operations with few, if any, paid employees and a disproportionately high number of animals to care for on a 365-day-a-year basis. As smaller, overburdened sanctuaries fail, their pigs must be frantically shuffled and relocated to other already overburdened sanctuaries, stressing a system that is already operating at or above capacity.