It’s being described as the worst case of animal cruelty a local animal sanctuary has ever seen.
Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary recently acquired a pot-belly pig that had been abandoned and neglected in a barn for more than a decade. It’s believed the 11-year-old pig, affectionately named Anna, had little to no interaction with humans and other animals her entire life.
“I was shocked she was still alive. I don’t know how she could survive a life like that,” explains sanctuary founder Carla Reilly-Moore.
The 70-pound pig has a slew of health problems. Her hoofs are so overgrown that it’st nearly impossible for her to walk or even stand. Her eyes are so badly infected that an odour emanates from her face and her un-kept skin is badly scaled.
“I think the big priorities today are certainly getting those feet a little closer to a hoof that she can actually stand on and trim the teeth while we have the opportunity,” explained Dr. Phil Ball, a veterinarian at St. Lawrence Veterinary Services.
Anna’s owners, both from Sarnia were charged by the OSPCA with neglect, abandonment and animal cruelty.
But Anna has been given a new lease on life. Finding a forever home at Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary just north of Kingston in Harrowsmith.
She’s one of the lucky ones.
According to the shelter, there simply isn’t enough room for pigs like Anna at sanctuaries across Ontario. There are under a dozen and very few accept pot-belly pigs. That’s due to the high number of them as its the type of animal that’s often re-homed when their owners realize the work that goes into caring for them.
“Many end up at sanctuaries or SPCAs or Humane Societies and, to tell you the truth, we’re all full in Ontario anyway and it’s a crisis right now,” said Reilly-Moore.
But for Anna, at least the crisis is over. She’s expected to make a full recovery and in time she will be another Happy Tail at Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary.