Thursday, March 12, 2009

Check out our new Sanctuary Tails blog … your place for all the news that’s fit to print from behind Farm Sanctuary’s barn doors. Brought to you straight from our very own national shelter director, Susie Coston, and California shelter director, Leanne Cronquist, this down-to-earth blog will give you the inside scoop on what it takes to rescue, rehabilitate and provide daily care for farm animals; show you never-before-seen videos and photo slideshows; indulge you in fascinating animal stories; and give you exclusive reports on more obscure shelter happenings. So, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s really like to be on the shelter, now is your chance to find out! Join us often as we bring the sanctuary experience right to you (twice a week) from those who know it best.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Several more recent adoptions have seen a number of pigs to Florida – just in time to avoid the snow that’s now falling in Watkins Glen! When we arrived in the Sunshine State on Nov. 13, we made a first stop at the home of Farm Animal Adoption Network member Jennifer Sackett, to deliver her new friends, Charo, Charity, Maria, and Brooke.

Next, we travelled to Kindred Spirits Sanctuary in Ocala, where Banshee and Sybil were greeted by lots of friendly faces who lovingly led them to a cozy shelter filled with fresh, clean straw. With a roomy pasture, new animal friends and lots of sunshine and loving care, we know they’ll always be happy in their beautiful new home. Check out these photos from Kindred Spirits Executive Director Laura Brahim showing their arrival.

Last but not least, we moved onward to Rooterville Sanctuary in Archer – a little piece of heaven on earth for pigs of all shapes and sizes. Among the lucky pigs who found themselves surrounded by lush green pasture, a shady oak hammock and tons of warm sand were our beloved LuLu, Pricilla, Olivia, and Papaya. Rooterville President Elaine West sent these great shots of the pigs enjoying their new Florida home.

Read more about the Florida sanctuary adoptions in this article on

And finally, one of the last scheduled adoptions took place not too long ago when Gomer, Felicia, Beverly, and Calypso arrived at their forever home with Farm Animal Adoption Network member Sarah Mann in Vermont. By all reports, these four incredible pigs are also doing very well and settling nicely into their new family life.

While the majority of the rescued Midwest pigs in need of adoption have been happily placed, we are still in urgent need of homes for two older sows, a mother sow and her five piglets (four girls and one boy), and two sweet younger female pigs. If you can help, please apply to join our Farm Animal Adoption Network today!

As we near a close to our Midwest Flood Pig Rescue Blog, we are also pleased to announce that we’ll be launching a whole new Farm Sanctuary shelter blog in the New Year. Stay tuned for information and where you can find us on the Web!

Monday, November 3, 2008

We are pleased to report on a few more happy endings that have recently unfolded for 10 of the Iowa pigs who traveled to their new adoptive homes over the past few weeks. On October 8, Gwen, Sweet Pea, Cherry, and seven other youngsters arrived at Lost Dog Ranch in Sumerduck, Virginia, where they have joined a whole family of other rescued animals. Lost Dog volunteer and former Farm Sanctuary intern, Sarah Barnett, sent along these great photos of her newest friends. Here they are having a ball, wallowing in the mud and running through the trees!

Ten more of the pigs, among them our beloved Rosebud and her seven growing piglets, reached the end of their cross country trek when they arrived at Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary in beautiful Scio, Oregon on October 18. Read more about the adoption in an article from the Albany Democrat Herald, and see them on KEZI 9 ABC News. The pigs’ new guardian, Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary President Wayne Geiger, was also kind enough to send the photos below. With big tree-lined pastures to explore and thick mounds of straw to nest and rest in, these pigs couldn’t be happier!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It has been a busy October so far at our New York Shelter, where we are preparing to see many of the Iowa pigs off to their new homes across the country. Already this month, we’ve had three east coast adoptions take place, and it’s off to the west coast next week!

Mango and Angelie were the first to go to their forever home, a pig sanctuary called Tusk and Bristle in Constantia, New York. By all reports from their new mom, Carol, and as you can see from the photos below, they’ve settled right in and are already having tons of fun. Who knew the mud in Constantia would be so luxurious?

Harriet and Ice were the next two to be adopted and traveled to Connecticut to become part of a happy family at Lockets Meadow Farm. They are so active, and enjoying their new surroundings so much, that their new mom, Kathleen, had trouble even taking their photos, but here you can see from their smiling faces that they are already fitting right in.

The biggest adoption, a group of 15 pigs which included Charlie, Jeremy, Love Bug, and all their friends, took place yesterday at PIGS Animal Sanctuary in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, where Charlie and company joined hundreds of other pigs all of all shapes and sizes. Photos of them in their new home are below. Look at all that glorious pasture!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

As the leaves change and autumn rolls in, we’re still “pig crazy” here at our New York Shelter – our efforts rehabilitating the Iowa pigs and planning for their futures continue at a steady pace. For many of the pigs, the months ahead will see them off to loving, forever homes throughout the country, so stay tuned for more details about their travels and experiences!

And speaking of autumn and pigs … we want to invite you to join us for our Party for the Pigs on October 18 in Washington, D.C. A benefit to honor the Midwest flood survivors and raise the critical funds we need to cover the costs of their rescue, daily care, rehabilitation, and nationwide placement, this party is the must-attend charity event of the season. Here are some highlights:

*Special guest appearances include: Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur, actress Persia White and musician Nellie McKay

*Musical performance by singer/songwriter and Broadway actress, Nellie McKay

*Beer and wine bar and vegan hors d’oeuvres from some of D.C.’s best restaurants

*Silent auction of exciting farm animal-inspired items

Get more details and RSVP to reserve your space by calling 607-583-2225 ext. 221 or visiting our Party for the Pigs Web site. If you can’t attend, but would still like to support the pigs, please make a donation today. Thank you for making a difference for farm animals. We hope to see you in D.C.!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

These new little piglet photos are too cute not to share. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our work with the pigs in the weeks since three of the pregnant sows rescued from the Midwest floods gave birth has kept us in a state of emotional flux. The most devastating news we have to report involves Mango – one of the mothers who gave birth last month. Like the other flood survivors, she had suffered immensely prior to rescue, and in the end, the ordeal proved fatal for her babies. Her little ones were nearly four weeks premature, their tiny lungs underdeveloped, and despite the intensive care they received here and at Cornell University’s Veterinary Hospital, they tragically passed away.

Though the loss of these precious lives hit us hard, no one was affected more profoundly than Mango. Like Faith, a sow who gave birth during the flood and then lost her piglets on the Iowa levee, Mango grieved, falling into depression, losing weight and pacing next to the stall where she had once cared for her babies. We are thankful to share the news, however, that she has since found comfort in an old friend, a young pig she bonded with during her time on the levee, and the two have picked up right where they left off, spending each moment together as surrogate mother and child.

Above: Mango and her young pig friend, prior to rescue, on the Iowa levee.

The other new mothers, Mabel and Rosebud, have also had their share of sorrow, as some of their babies were too small and sickly to make it through their first days of life. Happily, both continue to care for seven babies each while we monitor them closely, watching for signs of illness or distress. The love between the sows and piglets that we witness during our observations is remarkable, especially in the moments after the piglets wake from naps and run to reach their mothers’ faces, grunting excitedly into their ears as if to say, “thank goodness you’re still here!” One of Rosebud’s babies, Pepper, is so thrilled to see his mother when he wakes that he sticks his entire nose into her ear.

Above: Rosebud chats with two babies who are checking in after waking from a nap.

And then, of course, there is Nikki – the mother sow who gave birth on the levee and risked everything to keep her babies alive. She and her pleasantly plump, very muddy and deliriously happy little family have been a constant source of joy through all the trials we’ve faced in caring for the flood survivors. That’s not to say, however, that Nikki hasn’t done her part to keep us on our toes! Just the other day, as we performed health checks on the piglets in a treatment stall, Nikki ran to the gate and, within moments, skillfully and unapologetically removed it from its hinges so she could check in with each baby and ensure they were okay. Nothing, and we mean nothing, keeps this family apart.

Above: Nikki with her piglets following close behind!

After having the honor of knowing these sows, it is painful to think about what their lives were like at the factory farms they only narrowly escaped when the Mississippi River overflowed. But we must think about it because Mango, Rosebud, Nikki, and all the other bright, passionate, loving, and sensitive gestation sows rescued in Iowa are not anomalies in their ability to feel so deeply, and they need us to tell their full stories and show the world what is at stake when factory farms treat sentient creatures like commodities.

Every day on factory farms, sows like Nikki and the rest are confined inside 2-foot-wide gestation crates with concrete floors. They cannot turn around, or lie down comfortably. In fact, they can barely move. They are artificially inseminated by hog industry workers and left alone in solitary confinement to carry their babies for a term of 114 days. After giving birth to up to 17 piglets, a number that the pork industry continually pushes to increase, they nurse their babies through the bars of farrowing crates, minimally larger than gestation crates, unable to touch their newborns – let alone experience the kind of tender moments with them that we’ve seen here. After 10 days, the sows’ babies are torn away from them while they watch helplessly, and the cruel cycle begins again. These sows are treated as nothing more than piglet breeding machines.

Above: Gestation sows endure immense suffering on factory farms.

This life of misery drives gestation sows to madness – the evidence of which we have seen among the rescued Iowa pigs who spent entire days upon arrival here neurotically rubbing their noses against their feed bowls. Nearly all of them, in fact, are missing front teeth, presumably from their days of biting on metal bars. While this behavior has ceased with long days outdoors, play sessions, wallow time in mud holes, and affection from one another, these pigs will still chew on wooden slats if they are temporarily restricted to a stall for medical treatment – their time on factory farms lingering despite their freedom.

Above: A rescued sow runs and kicks up her heels in the pasture.

As Californians gear up to vote YES! on Prop 2, an initiative that would ban the use of gestation crates for breeding sows, as well as veal crates for calves and battery cages for egg-laying hens, in the nation’s largest agricultural state, people across the country have an opportunity to reduce animal suffering, as well. With only 68 days to garner public support and secure endorsements before the November 4 vote, we urge you to join the YES! on Prop 2 campaign and be a part of this historical effort. No matter where you live, you can help protect 20 million animals from the worst factory farming abuses. Learn how at

Please also join us in sharing the stories of Mango, Nikki and the other rescued pigs with the world and educate your friends and family about the many reasons to embrace a cruelty-free lifestyle and go vegan. Find more resources today at

Above: A rescued sow soaks up the sun while bathing in her water tub.