Scooter was born a runt, a class of creature to which the mores of farming are particularly unkind. Runts are commonly allowed to perish of neglect or disposed of in some brutal manner. A very few lucky ones, however, are rescued through the intervention of sympathetic people. A family acquainted with the owner of the farm where Scooter was born offered to take in the little piglet, and the farmer agreed.
The family’s compassion saved Scooter’s life, but eventually it became clear that he needed more help than they could give. At nine months of age, Scooter weighed a mere 45 pounds. He could not keep down solid food and frequently threw up even the milk that constituted his regular diet. His head hung low, and he drooled from constant nausea. Seeking a better life for their friend, Scooter’s caregivers reached out to Farm Sanctuary, and we welcomed him to our New York Shelter, ready to give him the best care and medical attention available.
At the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, our vets discovered a stricture at the bottom of Scooter’s esophagus that was preventing solid food from passing into his stomach. After a surgery using balloons to stretch out the esophagus, some solid food could reach Scooter’s stomach, and he was, at last, no longer nauseated. As an unavoidable side effect of the operation, however, Scooter no longer has a working sphincter muscle at his stomach opening. He must be fed small meals of mashed food throughout the day and must eat elevated. Undaunted, Scooter eagerly climbs the special set of stairs we built for him and eats with gusto at every feeding time.
Scooter had a rough start and will always have to deal with health challenges, but his zest for life is greater than the adversity it has offered him. This is one happy pig. He loves to run and play, root up dirt, munch on grass, and roll in the mud. He has befriended Emily, an adult pig who has coped with health problems of her own. She adores him, and the two sleep side by side every night.
Please help us continue to care for Scooter and others making a donation to the Emergency Rescue Fund.