Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The first group of pigs to come home to our New York Shelter left Oakville, Iowa yesterday at 4 p.m. and are expected to arrive in Watkins Glen any hour now. We are very pleased to report that most of these pigs walked right up to and into the transport trailer with ease despite injuries, illness and exhaustion – almost as if they knew they were going to a better place. Moments like this reveal just how much determination these brave animals have, and their courage continues to astound us every day.

We are also very happy to report that the rescue coalition of Farm Sanctuary, IFAW, AHA, and ARL-Boston saved 13 more pigs yesterday, which brings the total number of pigs rescued so far to 28. Among the 13, we have one mother and seven piglets - all of whom were born within the past week. The mother and her babies are doing quite well, and the piglets are the cutest we've ever seen! Prior to their rescue, the mother had built two nests for her babies in the field and already taught them how to hide from strangers. The pigs are voracious eaters and the mother, although naturally protective, has been kind to her rescuers, allowing them to admire her little ones. The crew really needed this success, and bringing these babies and their mother to safety has raised everyone's spirits.

With that said, we also have some sad news to report pertaining to the other five sows the rescue team saved yesterday. One of the mothers was found guarding a barn door and when the crew walked into the building they saw that none of her babies had made it. Another sow has an abscess on her foot that appears to have moved into her joint, creating a very serious health situation that we will need to monitor closely. We will do everything we can to save her, but it will be an uphill battle.

In other news, our national shelter director, Susie Coston, has arrived on the scene to oversee the care and transport of rescued pigs; in Susie’s loving and expert hands, the pigs have found their best hope for a new life. Farm Sanctuary is incredibly proud of our entire team, as they’ve worked tirelessly and against great odds to save so many animals. The team includes chief rescue and investigations officer, Dan D’Eramo, and shelter project coordinator, Chuck Pappas, both of whom have been in the flooded region since June 20, lending their invaluable skills and ingenuous strategies for catching and containing pigs during rescues; our campaigns director, Julie Janovsky, who has been instrumental to the entire mission by using her expertise in disaster response to help bring the rescue coalition together and coordinate efforts with local authorities; and communications director, Tricia Barry, who is sharing the pigs’ story with the nation. Our hearts and thoughts go out to them and everyone else on this critical rescue operation.

Piglets prior to rescue hiding in the nest their mother built. Photo Credit: IFAW - www.ifaw.org

Please keep scrolling for more photos and a slideshow below.

1 comment:

Casey of Lost Lake New York said...

Keep your spirits up guys! You're not just heroes to the pigs but to all of us watching anxiously from home.