How a leap of faith saved a pig…and nine more lives
Animal Stories from


Animal Place
November 2015

Rita and piglets
Rita and!

For one pig, jumping from a flatbed truck traveling down the highway would be the best decision of her life.

Drivers on Highway 50 near downtown Sacramento reported seeing the pig break free of her flimsy metal cage, leaping from the moving vehicle. Amazingly, the pig landed on grass and was left unharmed by the fall.

Animal control officers wrangled the petrified pig and transported her to the dog and cat shelter.

We wanted to save the pig, but by law the shelter had to give the “owner” time to reclaim her.

And then came more news – as if leaping from a moving truck wasn’t stressful enough for this pig, she gave birth to 14 piglets! No wonder she was trying to escape!

Five piglets did not survive, but nine did…and the whole family needed safe haven fast!

By this point, the pig and her brood remained unclaimed by any “owner” and we were free to rescue all ten pigs.

Rita and piglets
Rita nursing her babies...

rescued piglets
Rita's piglets playing...

Now it was our turn to take a leap of faith. We had already taken in several other animals and had limited space, but we knew we needed to help this pig (now named Rita) and her babies.

We rushed to the shelter. Rita and her piglets were loaded up into our trailer (the piglets safely in a crate where mama could see them) and brought them back to our Grass Valley sanctuary.

It took a few days for Rita to become comfortable with humans around her babies, but she is warming up to her caregivers…especially when we bring her grapes and cantaloupe!

The piglets are thriving under Rita’s gentle care. They enjoy special heat lamps at night and frolicking outside with mama during the day. Watching them grow, enjoy life — all under the watchful eye of their mom – is heartwarming.

rescued piglets

It is unbelievable anyone could look at Rita or her babies and see “bacon” or “pork” instead of intelligent and sensitize individuals.

Right now, Rita is eating around 5 pounds of feed a day! And soon, the piglets will all need to be spayed and neutered as well as vaccinated and de-wormed. Your donation towards their care will help Rita and her piglets thrive!

We spay and neuter all of our rescued pigs for a few reasons. One, to prevent breeding and accidental litters. As cute as piglets are, we would be unable to save more lives if we allowed breeding to occur. Two, spaying female pigs greatly reduces the risk of mammary cancer and uterine infections, common in intact pigs. And three, spaying and neutering reduces potentially aggressive behavior toward both other pigs and humans.

Help with Rita and her piglet’s care by donating today at Animal Place!

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