Our Rescue Stories:
Tootsie, Betty Boop and Vigo
Tootsie is a young Yorkshire/Landrace mix farm pig who started life at a pig breeding factory farm in the Midwest . She was rescued from the farm and moved to a small private sanctuary in VA. This sanctuary is being forced to downsize and we were asked if we could provide a “forever home” for Tootsie. Tootsie arrived here in September. While she enjoyed her new-found freedom on the 40 acres set aside for the farm pigs, Tootsie was too young to be readily accepted by the established herd of farm pigs…many of whom have been together for a number of years.
Enter Betty Boop and Vigo
These two precocious youngsters were raised in a petting zoo in North Carolina . As so frequently happens with pigs in petting zoos or “educational exhibits”, once they are no longer cute piglets, they are no longer wanted. Frequently, they are shuttled off to be fattened for slaughter. A young college couple intervened and rescued Betty Boop and Vigo , but could simply not keep them as they continued to grow.
Betty Boop and Vigo …who has since been renamed Clancy due to his bright red hair…arrived here just a few weeks after Tootsie arrived.
After having spent their early lives cooped up in small pens, the open land and woods of The Preserve were like heaven to these two rambunctious youngsters. For days they ran, spun in the air, rooted up the thick grass, grazed, tasted acorns and hickory nuts and swam in the ponds.
Much to our amazement and deep pleasure, Tootsie has “adopted” Betty Boop and Clancy. The three quickly became inseparable. Together they found one of our new, unused pig barns and made themselves at home. As we travel The Preserve on our daily chores and routine “pig checks” we see this young trio everywhere…always together…with Tootsie leading the way and her two “children” following playfully behind her.The three youngsters have learned to come to the pasture gate for a mid morning snack…knowing that when I see and hear them squealing I will stop what I am doing and haul a bucket of feed down to them. And, in the evening, they come back up to the pasture gate right at feeding time so they can eat without having to compete with the herd of larger and more dominant farm pigs. Then, in the waning fall twilight, we watch them contentedly head down through the woods to their barn to make their evening nests in the hay. And our hearts are glad that we could offer these three pigs a safe and wonderful home for the rest of their lives.