We are occasionally called to help take a pig to the vet when the caregivers are unable to make the move themselves usually due to the size of their pig. Dr. Page, our sanctuary veterinarian, once called to ask if would take Ernie, Tom and David’s pig, to her for emergency surgery. Ernie had a blocked urethra and needed immediate relief. Mary and Pamala picked up Ernie in Catalina and assisted Dr. Page in the surgery.
Unfortunately, even though the initial surgery was successful, the blockage reoccurred and Ernie had to be euthanized a few days later. Because of our efforts to help Ernie, Tom and David became great supporters of the sanctuary by sponsoring two of our pigs named Wil and Ernie, donating two camper shells that the pigs love for shelters, and holding a fundraiser for the sanctuary. An accidental meeting for a common cause has resulted in forging a wonderful long-term relationship.
Educating people about pot-bellied pigs and their plight is very important. We get that opportunity with all ages right here at the sanctuary. There are elementary age classes that come out to see the pigs and learn about their care. We also have groups of retired seniors, pre-vet students from the university, animal rights activists, and handicapped adults coming out for educational tours. Itís a great chance for us to share our knowledge and our pigs with people who are interested in helping make a difference.
Several times over the years we have received calls from local people who are moving and have no way to transport their pig to the new home. We are glad to assist with this and are always happy to hear from people making the effort to keep their pigs rather than pass them on to us!
Advice to Owners
We often get phone calls or emails from owners having issues with their pigs. Sometimes it is questions about illnesses. Other times it is for help in finding a vet in their area that can work on pigs. We have advised people on behavioral problems, proper feeding, joint support supplements, introducing a new pig into the family, fencing for pigs who are escape artists, what to do for a pig that is overheated...you name it, we’ve probably dealt with it.