Young Pigs Rescued From Being Slaughtered Get Second Chance On Life
Those familiar with the "This Little Piggy" nursery rhyme by Mother Goose may remember that some pigs go to market and some stay home, but for two not-so-little pigs rescued from being slaughtered, they got the ultimate opportunity: to live out the rest of their lives free from harm.
Last September, students from the University of Connecticut were given Yorkshire Cross pigs from Tufts University to raise and train for an upcoming agricultural show. Their fate would not be for breeding, but for meat consumption, most likely for bacon.
One compassionate student and her family, however, intercepted and purchased two female pigs named Little Beanie Tofu and Dolphin. They took them to their home in Newtown in October and transformed an area of their backyard into an enclosure filled with hay, shelter, and toys to enjoy.
Now that their safety has been ensured, the family is partnering with the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation (CVHF) to help these bonded pigs find a permanent home together.
The CVHF was created in honor of Catherine Violet Hubbard, a first-grader killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on 12/14, who loved all animals. The nonprofit was founded by Catherine's parents Jenny and Matt Hubbard, and the group is actively working toward building an animal sanctuary in Newtown.
On March 22, the CVHF posted on its Facebook page that after learning of Little Beanie Tofu and Dolphin's story, it was working to help the pigs find a home where they "can thrive and live out their days in peace and comfort as all animals should."
Currently, the two pigs are said to be approximately seven months old and over 200 pounds. As Yorkshire Cross pigs, they are expected to reach 600 pounds or more by adulthood.
Each is marked with a tag on its ear that was given when they crossed state lines from Massachusetts into Connecticut. The tag, which says it is unlawful to remove, identifies both the litter number they were in and a number corresponding to their birth order.
Little Beanie Tofu, the largest of the pair, has a tag that reads 63-6, meaning she was the sixth pig born in the 63rd litter. Dolphin, who has a vibrant blue eye, has a tag that reads 60-4, saying she was the fourth pig born in the 60th litter.
The two also share similar man-made features, including notched ears, clipped tusks, and a cut tail - practices pigs endure when being prepped for sale.
Having spent their first few months being raised for meat, the young pigs had only ever known a life of sleeping indoors on a cement floor, being yelled commands, and getting poked and prodded to move quicker.
When Little Beanie Tofu and Dolphin arrived in Newtown they were terrified to even step out of their transport truck. After finally being coaxed out, the two "girls" ran joyfully through the grass and got their first taste of freedom.
Today, thanks to their Newtown family's love and care, these highly intelligent creatures are as happy as can be and wag their stubby tails excitedly like a dog when they are playing. They even enjoy being brushed and bathed (debunking the common misconception that pigs are dirty).
The CVHF's Facebook post describes Little Beanie Tofu and Dolphin's personalities, saying, "They are both lovable and friendly, adore back rubs, eating out of your hand, and being social."
They eat a diet of grain, cracked corn, vegetables, rice, and beans, but always love an apple or five as a treat.
Considering the two pigs are not done growing, having a compassionate owner and large area to comfortably root, run, and play in would best suit their needs. The CVHF has offered to help provide transportation for the pigs to get to their future adopter's home if assistance is needed.
"If the sanctuary was up and running, they'd be in our paddocks and stay until they found a home," said Ms Hubbard. "And if they never found a home, they'd still stay with us."
For the time being they will remain in Newtown, awaiting the opportunity to be granted a forever home with someone who sees them for the living creatures they are and not the meat they were bred for.
To support Little Beanie Tofu and Dolphin, donations of pig food and hay can be brought to the CVHF's new office space at 83 South Main Street.
Little Beanie Tofu and Dolphin have been vetted and are available for adoption. Those interested in learning more, can e-mail email@example.com.