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Pig Pals Sanctuary was founded in 1987, when the plight of the unwanted pet pig first came to our attention. This wonderful and unique creature was advertised and commercialized beyond belief for a number of years bringing astronomical monetary gains to many people.
As with any animal, the more popular they became the more people there were that got them as babies and then couldn't handle the grown animal.
The truth is that the potbellied pig is only a good pet for those who take commitment and responsible pet ownership very seriously.
Responsible pet ownership is not defined by species and holds true across the board, but is even more important to the pet pig. These unique animals are so intelligent that the displacement is far more difficult for them than on other animals that are bought and discarded.
As the numbers of unwanted pets grew…so did our sanctuary and in 1995 we became a nonprofit sanctuary. Unfortunately the pet pigs do not have the protection that dogs and cats do under most laws so abuse and lack of care can be rampant.
As an abuse investigator licensed by the State, and having worked in this field for over thirty years, we saw the need in the beginning for a safe haven for these wonderful animals. Our commitment to any animal that comes here is protection, love and care for the entire life of the animal.
For this reason we do not adopt out once they are here.
We are a small sanctuary by most standards with forty beautiful acres set in the farm country of southern Illinois. Our capacity is limited because of the lifelong care, but emergencies, animal shelters, and displaced house pets take top priority.
We do not run large herds together, but opt for pastures that are individual playing fields with grass and maybe one or two friends. (See our pictures)
While this is wonderful for the pigs and allows for their individuality to shine through, it is also more labor intensive in care and it couldn’t be done without the help of my daughter Rhonda, who comes several times a week to help out.
At the present time Pig Pals is home to over 80 pigs with anywhere from 9-15 being house pets at any one time. Because I am an abuse investigator and member of a rehab and release program for wild animals there are other animals that have needed a safe haven and we have included pictures of them on the web site as well.
All animals at Pig Pals Sanctuary came with a less than bright future to look forward to. The pigs however are our main commitment, as good facilities for them seem to be so limited in most areas as compared with other animals.
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2000 - 2014