Lucille...Safe at Last

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Lucille...Safe at Last

From Animal Place
April 2013

Only a month old, this little survivor has been through a lot. Most likely bought at a nearby auction, where piglets as young as 2-3 days old are sold for a few dollars, she somehow escaped whomever purchased her. Running loose, she was picked up by a southern California animal control agency.

piglet Animal PlaceAnimal Place learned of the piglet through an email sent by a local rescuer. The dog and cat shelter was auctioning the pig off to the highest bidder, with no oversight or screening to ensure she ended up in a permanent home. This was a sealed auction, in which individuals submit their bids in a sealed envelope. We know how difficult it is to place farm pigs. Auctioning a live animal off to the highest bidder only perpetuates the notion that farm animals are "food", unworthy of the compassionate treatment extended to dogs and cats.

Concerned for her welfare, we reached out to the shelter and offered to take in the piglet at our 600-acre sanctuary in northern California. We even offered to donate to the shelter to help offset the care provided to the piglet during her stay. The shelter had already started the auction and despite our plea, refused our offer. Nothing could convince the shelter to relinquish custody to our qualified sanctuary.

Lucky for this piglet, she had on her side a cadre of individuals and rescuers willing to step up and ensure her life was saved. It is unfortunate that anyone was put in the unfair position of bidding on an animal in order to save her life...especially knowing that our sanctuary was ready to open our barn doors to this piglet. When one rescuer contacted us and asked if we could take in the pig if they won the bid, we could not say no.

The auction ended after two days and we all held our breath as the shelter opened the bids. The rescuers had won, and we were able to secure transport from southern California to a meet-up location 3.5 hours. Mercy for Animals staff drove her to the meet-up spot where our staff awaited the young pig. A few hours later, she was safe and sound at our Grass Valley sanctuary.

Petrified and unsure, she was lured out with promises of bananas (which she enjoyed immensely). Curious, she explored her small pasture, crawled over staff, and did her best to be brave in what must have felt like another frightening world.

piglet Animal PlaceThe practice of auctioning off farmed animals instead of adopting them out is more common than one think. We have worked with many animal control agencies that leap at the opportunity for us to take in a farm animal....staff often bond with these animals and would hate the thought of them ending up being slaughtered.

This young piglet will live out her life in sanctuary. Her story will be shared with our visitors and supporters. She will become an ambassador for farm animals who end up in shelters and are not given an opportunity for a loving home or permanent sanctuary. And, most importantly, she will show people how intelligent, emotional, and engaging pigs are and that their worth is not in the taste of their flesh but in their generous spirits, quirky personalities, and strong will to live.

We want to thank all the rescuers who made this possible. Pamela of the Nature Network, Inc., secured the winning bid that saved this little lady's life. Cheryl offered an overnight stay at her refuge so the piglet could be whisked out of the shelter immediately. Nora of Mercy for Animals drove to meet us halfway. Others offered to transport and donate towards the winning bid and the piglet's care. This rescue happened because a bunch of individuals and rescues came together and did something. Without them, this piglet would not be alive. We are glad to be the final home for this piglet and can guarantee she will receive all of the love and lifelong care she deserves.