In the fall of 2006 GLRS returned to its roots, welcoming a potbellied pig to the family. The sanctuary received a call from a woman living in Detroit; a friend had given her husband a baby potbellied pig for his birthday. But pigs are illegal in Detroit (as in most cities) as they are considered farm animals. Plus this couple recognized that they would not be able to provide for him properly as he grew older.
We picked up Oliver in November 2006 and spoiled him rotten. Though he had ample space and plenty of love from the GLRS humans, Oliver was lonely. Pigs are herd animals by nature, and clearly he needed a piggie pal. But fate stepped in to lend a hand! GLRS received a phone call about a neglected pet pig left to roam a rural neighborhood, chased by dogs and coming close to being hit by cars. And there was the nose ring. Arnold’s owners had put a metal ring through his snout as a means of preventing him from rooting up their lawn. Moreover, one of the rings had caused an infection. GLRS got Arnold and promptly had the vet remove his nose ring and treat the infection. Oliver and Arnold became buddies, sleeping side-by-side, speaking to each other in soft snorts and whines.
Update 2019: Our beloved Oliver, who brought us back to our roots, left us for the Rainbow Bridge.
Fast forward to 2007
GLRS received a request to take in two pigs who had been abandoned on a northern Michigan farm during the winter of 2006. Of the approximately 125 pigs who resided on the farm, only 60 survived the frigid winter temperatures of the upper peninsula. In May 2007, after spending a few months recuperating at a rescue facility, Arlo and Woody arrived at GLRS.
Update 2019: Woody and Arlo, after spending 12 years at GLRS spoiled, loved, and content, left us for the Rainbow Bridge. They were both 17 years old.
Then along came Boss, Humphrey, Daisy, and Annie!
In early 2011 an urgent call came in to the sanctuary from someone needing to place four young potbellied pigs, born the previous September. Though we were not in a position to take them, we did try to offer assistance and several of our volunteers got to work to find them homes.
A week later, however, there was no luck finding them a safe haven, and GLRS was faced with the grim news: if a home couldn’t be found in two weeks, the pigs would be euthanized. So, we decided to see what we could do at the sanctuary. Could we find the financial resources to provide them with a place to call home? Sharpening our pencils, we discussed everything from housing, local animal ordinances, spay/neuter costs, and the overall expense of this rescue. The conclusion? Four more piggies calling GLRS home!
Franklin brought the count to nine…
Franklin came to us in the fall of 2011 from a nearby county, where he was discovered sunbathing in someone’s front yard. Franklin Animal Control officers loaded Franklin up in their van and drove him out to the sanctuary. Franklin was a bit on the plump side, and needed to lose some weight with a healthy diet and exercise. He was already neutered, very friendly, which means he was definitely someone’s pet. His story is not unlike that of many other potbellied pigs. His family probably did not realize how big he would get, grew tired of him, and let him loose to fend for himself.
and Homie brings it to ten!
GLRS took in Homie, and five of his “sibling” cats, all of which were scheduled for euthanasia within days with no other options left. Happily, we were able to immediately find a forever home for two of the cats, and shortly thereafter the remaining three were living in their forever homes!