Pigs of Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary
Our first pigs came from the NC42Save operation. They were “cull” piglets—meant to be pulled from their factory farm home at 3 months of age and sent to the gas chamber and thrown in the trash. The reason? They were too small or sick to bother to continue feeding, so it was more profitable to simply kill them. They have no tails because the factory farms remove their tails with no anesthesia. Pigs in factory farms are stuffed in completely dark, cramped, unsanitary conditions, and they sort of go crazy and will bite at each other’s tails. Rather than make conditions better, farmers simply cut their tails off. Thankfully, Erika Lovato, who runs Sisu Refuge, was able to negotiate the release of 42 of these "cull" piglets to save their lives. Five of these piglets came to Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary. Sadly one of the piglets, King, passed away from colonic torsion, a completely unpredictable and unpreventable condition that is 100% fatal. We still miss him terribly.
Albert was our first piglet who arrived with King. He is mostly blind and deaf, but he doesn't let that stop him, and he is one of the happiest animals we have ever met. One of his favorite pastimes is visible in this photo: Destroying swimming pools. He also loves the hose, particularly drinking from it.
Oliver fancies himself the boss of the pigs, and he tries to be the boss of the notpigs, too. We have had to have a few talks with Oliver about biting shoes, biting knees, biting fingers, and so on. He's very friendly and affectionate, he just has a bit of a bratty streak.
Rupert came to us with Oliver, and the two are very close as a result. He's a really mellow guy though, and lacks Oliver's bratty streak entirely. Rupert's favorite place is in a mud puddle, and he loves the hose. He will stand there and get drenched with the hose, and then turn around and around to make sure you've gotten every inch!
Sweet Hog Solo is an affectionate pig with deep, soulful eyes. He was the last of the cull piglets to arrive at CCFS and it took him a while to find him place in the group. He has now solidly bonded with his brothers, though, and enjoys pool time with them.
Ruthie, Rita, and their Babies
Ruthie and Rita,whom we believe to be sisters, were rescued by the Humane Society from a hoarding/cruelty situation. Shortly after arriving at the Humane Society, both gave birth. The Humane Society didn't have room for two fully grown farm pigs, let alone two fully grown farm pigs and 13 babies, so finding placement for them became urgent or the family would have to be separated when the piglets were just one week old. We didn't want to see that happen, so we volunteered to take them all. We originally intended to adopt some of the babies out to other sanctuaries after weaning, but after seeing how bonded they were to their moms and each other, we decided to let the whole family stay together for the rest of their lives. Sadly one of the babies, Maisie, was found to have a congenital heart deformity and didn't survive. The other 12 piglets have thrived and grown like crazy! The first six babies listed are Ruthie's, and the next six are Rita's.
Miss Ruthie, seen here sporting watermelon lipstick, is the dominant sister and is a pretty dominant mama, too. She rules the pasture with an iron snoot. Still, she has been a very good mama to her babies, singing to them gently when they nursed and protecting them fiercely when she believed them to be in danger.
Mama Rita is the mellow sister. As you can see from her smile in this photo, when she realized she and her family were safe, she was HAPPY. Like Ruthie, she has been a great mama, singing to her babies and protecting them when she felt it necessary. Both girls have gotten progressively friendlier as they have spent more time around notpigs.
The shiest of the piglets, Bailey can often be found off doing her own thing. It took her a long time to decide that belly rubs were actually pretty nice, and she will sometimes come seek them out now. Still, mostly she likes to be by herself, and we are happy to give her the space she enjoys.
Everybody loves our speckled boy Nigel, and what's not to love? He's always one of the first to come ask for belly rubs and is super friendly. He also really likes dogs, and enjoys running up and down the fence line with them. Another favorite pastime is getting muddy and drying himself off on your pant leg.
Simon is the first of four all-black piglets. It took Erin a full month of staring at them intently to be able to tell them apart, and she remains the only one who can do so. Simon is a friendly guy who really loves his siblings. His favorite place is in the middle of a pile of piglets.
Simon's best buddy is his brother Luke. This cutie took a little bit longer to warm up to the idea of notpigs. But then he discovered belly rubs, and suddenly he decided notpigs were pretty neat. Luke loves splashing around in the pool and in the mud, and of course sharing that mud with us.
Sweet Leia is an outgoing, affectionate girl who is usually one of the first to come and flop on your feet asking for a belly rub. She's very close with her twin brothers and twin sister (meaning there's usually a mass of black piglets and it's always hard to tell them apart).
Miss River is our resident escape artist. She sees gates and fences not as barriers but as challenges to be conquered. And she's quite skilled at conquering them! She loves exploring other pastures, roaming around the farm house, and making friends with various species of notpig.
The lovely Yvette has the cutest pink socks. She is a friendly, outgoing girl who always wants attention--belly rubs, neck scratches, snoot kisses, and more. As you can see from the photo, she also loves watermelon and will devour the whole thing, rind and all!
Ms. Liza, aka Chunky Monkey, is a total sweetheart who has never met someone she doesn't consider a friend. She is also River's favorite partner in crime during her break-outs. We don't know if she so much likes exploring as she just likes going to look for new friends. Liza seriously loves everyone.
As you can see here from the photo, Matilda is something of a mama's girl--she loves mama Rita. It was clear early on that we couldn't separate her from her mom. Matilda is also close with her brother Aleister. She loves notpigs, too, and will eagerly flop over for a belly rub.
Our sweet Pixie was the very first piglet to allow us to pet her and the first to flop over for a belly rub. If Pixie had her way, she would live in the house and sleep in our bed, because she is a total snuggle muffin.
Like Pixie, if Aleister could come in the house and sleep in the bed with us, he totally would. He's an absolute snuggle bug. He also has a habit of bringing you sticks as a way to say "thank you" for giving him belly rubs. And, if he's asking for a belly rub and you aren't obliging, he's not above trying to bribe you with a stick present.
Lovely Dorothy is another sweetheart who is very affectionate. She is also impatient. See, she quite likes her belly rubs, and if you don't rub her belly in the time she deems reasonable, she will start chewing on your shoes or your clothes. There are consequences for ignoring me, notpig.