Of all the tiny piglets in a crowded pen at a busy New York stockyard, Riley was the smallest and visibly suffering from multiple ailments. At only seven pounds, he was too sick to even stand, his head tilted awkwardly to the side, and one of his eyes was nearly swollen shut due to severe infection. As the auction went on, Riley’s plight only continued to be ignored, and no one in the crowd stepped up to help him. Sadly, his survival meant nothing to those in attendance as his pitiful condition made him unfit for sale and of no use to any potential buyer.
Thankfully, our Emergency Rescue Team arrived on the scene just in time to change Riley’s fate, lifting the helpless piglet out of this cruel environment and providing the help he so desperately needed. In critical condition, Riley was rushed to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, where he underwent immediate surgery to relieve the pressure in his ear. When he was well enough to come home, our caregivers continued to nurse him to health, feeding him a special diet and administering antibiotics to treat his painful ear, eye and sinus infections until finally, little by little, his prognosis looked brighter and his chances for rehabilitation improved.
Although the neglect Riley endured left him blind in one eye and his head permanently tilted, this brave boy is well on his way to recovery. He no longer shows any balance issues and is playful, happy and growing steadily. In fact, now off of all his medications too, the little guy recently made the big move from our shelter hospital to the main pig barn, where he resides in a comfy, straw-filled stall neighboring Kim Gordon and Bob Harper, two other piglets we rescued in 2010. And, once he adjusts to his surroundings and grows a little bigger he’ll join them.
Already a favorite around the farm, Riley has quite the cute personality. He is fascinated by everything in the new world around him and loves to root in the earth, snuggle with visitors, play silly games with the stuffed animal and pillow in his pen, and curiously watch his soon-to-be pig friends, Bob and Kim. Carefree now that he is feeling better, baby Riley is certainly enjoying every minute of the second chance he’s gotten and it’s been thrilling for us to see him thrive.
If it weren’t for member support of our Emergency Rescue Fund, Riley’s rescue and recovery would not have been possible. But thanks to the generous contributions we received from compassionate people like you, this tiny piglet will now know nothing but loving hands for the rest of his days at our shelter in Watkins Glen. We are deeply grateful for all of our supporters who were there for Riley in his time of need and helped us save his precious life. Thank you!