Farm Animal Rescue Caring for Record Number of Pigs, All of Whom Seek Loving, Forever Homes
Methuen, Mass., Dec. 10, 2015 – “Willow” the pig lifts her head when you call her name and cozies right up to the caretakers who clean her stall, which is nestled neatly inside the aging barn at the MSPCA-Nevins Farm in Methuen, Mass. Kept almost exclusively indoors and overfed by her previous owners, the portly pot belly is now 100 pounds overweight and has been placed on a strict diet.
Willow is loveable and social and eager for a permanent home to call her own. But she’s not alone. Willow is one of 12 homeless pigs the Nevins Farm team is currently sheltering—an unusually high population for the farm, with three more pigs expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
Barn manager Melissa Ghareeb has issued an urgent call for adopters. “We’re now constantly shuffling living arrangements for all of our animals—from horses and goats to fowl and alpacas—to make more room for our pig population,” she said.
Heavy Period of Pig Surrenders
Ghareeb believes the heavy pig surrenders are a spillover from last year’s terrible winter, which spiked the cost of caring for farm animals. Additionally, many pigs are surrendered because their owners believed their new piglet would be as easy to care for as a dog, only to be overwhelmed as the animal grew larger and engaged in natural behaviors such as rooting in the ground with their snouts.
“As we look ahead to what may be another record-breaking winter, we’d like to get as many of these pigs into new homes as possible,” said Ghareeb, who stressed that because pigs have very different behavioral and enrichment needs than dogs, adopters with experience caring for pigs are much sought after.
Pigs as Pets
“Pigs are smart (many come when they’re called); they’re highly social—and make friends with each other and even other animals—and are relatively ‘easy keepers’ for those with experience caring for these wonderful animals,” said Ghareeb.
Pigs generally require outdoors pace with grass—“and some mud to roll around in during the summer months,” according to Ghareeb—and a warm shelter such as shed or barn for the colder months. Pigs are omnivores and do well on commercial pig-specific foods and should always have access to clean drinking water. Keeping pigs exclusively as indoor pets is never ideal as it blunts many of their natural behaviors.
“If ever there was a time for Massachusetts families to consider taking in a pet pig, that time is now,” offered Ghareeb.
The Nevins Farm team has made an urgent appeal to adopters to take in one or more pigs. For more information about horse adoption at the MSPCA readers can click here.
The MSPCA-Angell is a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for thousands of animals each year. Founded in 1868, it is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. Services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and world-class veterinary care. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, non-profit organization. It does not receive any government funding nor is it funded or operated by any national humane organization. The MSPCA-Angell relies solely on the support and contributions of individuals who care about animals. Please visit www.mspca.org.