When this little piglet was rescued, he was suffering from a joint infection that followed a leg injury he received in the overcrowded conditions he lived in at a local farmer’s petting zoo and pumpkin patch. Despite the label of “free range” that some farmers utilize to distance themselves from factory farms, piglets and other animals who are raised for food are still treated as commodities. An animal’s life has a price tag and that price tag may not warrant an extra investment in medical care needed to treat a leg injury or other ailment. So, this tiny piglet (who we later named Eric) was left to suffer and fend for himself like so many others. The neglect he endured might have been fatal if not for the compassion of a mother and child, who saw the piglet in trouble and notified Farm Sanctuary.
After Eric arrived at our New York Shelter, we immediately examined his leg and promptly took him to Cornell University Hospital for Animals for treatment. He had an infection in his joint, which required antibiotics to be injected directly into his leg. He was also given pain medicine to keep him comfortable and oral antibiotics to continue his treatment at home. When he returned to us, he received round the clock care to ensure a comfortable and complete recovery.
Piglets are herd animals and hate to be alone. But Eric needed time to regain his strength, and he had to be secluded from other pigs. Yet this boy managed to find a way to make friends, including a plush stuffed pig toy and one of our sanctuary cats, Azriel. The sight of little Eric snuggled with his stuffed piglet at night was precious.
After two long weeks of medical treatment indoors, Eric was finally ready to go outdoors, where he met Jane, another recently rescued piglet and his future best friend. Despite being half the size of Jane, who was several months older, Eric quickly tried to assert himself, but Jane would have none of that! Now, Eric tags along with Jane everywhere she goes and when Jane starts to root in the ground, Eric follows her lead like an adoring little brother.
We’re so pleased to report that Eric seems to feel right at home in his new surroundings at Farm Sanctuary, a place where he truly does have fields to explore, mud puddles to soak in and people who care deeply about his safety and health.