Friday, August 13, 2010
Tea Cup Pig
Four years ago a family wrote me after they had visited friends who were raising pigs for slaughter. They left after there visit with the runt of the litter fearing he would get trampled to death by the other pigs in his pen. They brought him home to there suburban home and fixed him a cozy place in the kids play house and then looked for a home for him and emailed me.
And what luck for this little pig as i actually had a great family who wanted to adopt a pot belly pig and were keen on a farm pig too. They visited the Sanctuary a few times and with pre-adotpion approved I did the home check too. I made several recommendations on the pen and care and little baby Roscoe would surely move there. In fact the night before his arrival i supplied the hay , the water dishes and a baby portable pen to be used.. He was just a baby and still only Tea Cup size ;o))
Contracts signed with a promise from the family to have him neutered before 3 months old as these pigs grow up fast and he was too teeny at this time. Two months later i began my phone calls at about every two weeks urging them to get him done. My last call just prior to Christmas was met with a strong promise from the family that i wouldn't need to worry, that baby Roscoe would be taken care of.
A few months later i was on the road and realized i was driving right by where Roscoe lived. A hot sunny day i pulled over and jumped out of the truck and me with no treats grabbed hand fulls of lush grass and walked up towards his enclosure on this 5 acre property.
The family was outside and the women seeing my arm full of grass asked me "do pigs like grass"? This was a HUGE red flag for me as that comment alone told me many things about how this pig was living. Gads them not knowing if he liked grass meant they never gave him hay at least to sleep on because then they would know he would eat it all and this also told me he never got out of the pen. Because if he was out on this rich grass he would be eating mouth fulls of the stuff and they would see that.
And as i walked by the man i asked him if he had Roscoe neutered and his reply was a 'nope" and i felt the anger welling up in me.
Roscoe now 4 1/2 months old was laying in knee deep mud in the same small pen big enough for a pot bellied pig not an animal 3x times that size.No hay for bedding and his water trough was bone dry. He welcomed the grass i brought him and now i was really mad.
Not pulling any punches i exclaimed this pig was not living like a companion animal , " you didn't even know if he liked grass??? " and no water , this pen is too small for him and don't you ever let him out???? I was met with "well we were thinking bout getting rid of him" .. and my reply " I'll be taking care of that!!"
I got to tell you when Roscoe and I go for walks around the acreage he follows me like any good dog would. Stopping to nibble now and then and then brushing his big self next to me as if he needs to confirm I am here for him and this brings him comfort as he expresses his love . He will dash off to explore on any given day but return to me 15 minutes later to confirm i am indeed here, like a child would do with his Mom. He welcomes me each time with throaty hello's and we catch up on news from when he last left my side.
His is huge and this picture shows you just how big he is in front of my friend Karen's truck. In person however the only thing big about Roscoe to me is his inquisitive nature and the security he needs from me when his big self gently brushes my side.
Will add pix later as Blogger is giving me some grief here ..