Missy was born with a purpose- a purpose that someone forced on her- to be slaughtered for her meat. She and her family were given little care, besides having some “slop” thrown at them once or twice a day. She was born at a “homestead” in the woods of Maine, to parents that were forced to breed “meat babies” for a family who looked at them as production units only. As is most often the case, they put as little effort as possible into maintaining the pig family, as the only goal was to provide for growth adequate enough to make their eventual murders worthwhile.
The pigs had no shelter from the weather (and in Maine our weather is extreme for up to 7 months of the year), no consistent supply of water (pigs need access to clean, unfrozen water, just like anyone else), and no access to warmth (pigs are extremely vulnerable to the cold, just like humans). They had no bedding, and were forced to live in the mud and ice. We have no idea how they survived, or how many of Missy's siblings perished due to the elements.
Missy escaped from her make-shift pen one day, and ran down the street with icicles hanging from her neck- and this is what spawned the final rescue. Reports were made to the authorities (again) by neighbors who had seen the deplorable conditions. Although nothing had previously been done (for a period of up to a year, and after many fruitless investigations) a new Animal Control Officer got on board and exercised the minimum adequate care laws provided by the State of Maine. Missy was found sick, with a severe respiratory infection which would have killed her. There were animals found all over the property- rabbits tucked away in a dark barn who were living in carriers packed with inches of feces, goats living in an abandoned car, birds found stuck in ice.
Missy and the remaining living animals were seized because the ACO knew that the laws had to be enforced finally. But that is not the end of the story.
Missy and her parents, two other little pigs, a turkey, a goose, chickens and rabbits were taken out of their nightmare by the ACO, who had to take them to the contract shelter for that area. The contract shelter did their best to provide immediate care, but as is often the case, they did not know what to do with “farmed animals”.
Peace Ridge Sanctuary was alerted and we immediately called the shelter to organize their release. But many of the animals had already been “promised” to farmers, yes- to working animal farms. The shelter was able to re-organize their placement decisions for most of the animals, who were relinquished to our sanctuary. Today, Missy and her lucky friends are enjoying life as it should be for these animals. Missy has proven to be a great ambassador for pigs, displaying her intelligence, playfulness, and affection to those who come to visit.