Ironwood Logo

Who We Are

The Ironwood Pig Sanctuary provides a permanent home in a safe, nurturing environment for abandoned, abused, neglected or unwanted pot bellied pigs from both the Phoenix and Tucson areas. The sanctuary is located near the Red Rock exit on Interstate 10.

Mary Schanz photo

Mary Schanz, President & CoFounder

After moving to Arizona fifteen years ago from CA, where we were avid sailors, I became very involved in environmental and animal rights issues. Helping animals of all kinds became my passion. After retiring from a career in medical technology, my husband and I had planned to travel extensively. But we had become involved with potbellied pigs by volunteering at another sanctuary and I was smitten. My life at Ironwood is very busy and often stressful, but when I am away from the sanctuary for any reason when I return I can't wait to visit every area to reconnect with all the pigs, for they have become my family.

Ben Watkins photo

Ben Watkins, Executive Director,

My involvement with the creation and growth of the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary, after my retirement, is the most significant thing that I have ever done. I love all of our sweet pigs and it gives me great pleasure when I see them enjoying themselves in one of our fields. I particularly like designing and building the infrastructure which keeps me in touch with my engineering background. Editing the newsletter and keeping the sanctuary books are also my responsibilities. We have created a great sanctuary and it gives me pride to think of what we have built and all the pigs we have helped.