2023 is the year for the Sanctuary to step up!
We are stepping up with rescues’ enrichment: more toys and more interaction and appropriate exercise. And we are always stepping up to network with other wonderful sanctuaries to help more animals who need to be rescued, even when we don’t have more room here.
Another major way we are stepping up is by bringing humane education director Jennifer D’Angelo on full time from part time, just as her fantastic programs for Scouts are ramping up. And the Animal Care Circle (formerly Animal Care Club) is re-imagined and coming back this spring as well.
We raised $600 in February for enrichment toys across all species, so those will start to arrive soon and you can see more about that in our posts on our free phone app (find it on Apple Store or Play Store Android), and posting on other social media as well. It was important to us to make sure to find toys for species we had not worked with as much in the past, so the big pigs and the birds have some new entertainment on the way. It is not enough to just save a life - that life has to have safety, food, water, shelter, love and experiences/enrichment. We are excited to improve their lives in a joyous way that keeps their minds and spirits happy.
We stepped up big time last week on National Pig Day. I received a call from the Chief Code Enforcement Officer of the City of Marlborough MA, Pamela Wilderman. A resident of town lived on less than an acre of land, the minimum required for a farmed animal like a pig. Roger is a small Juliana type minipig who lived inside this house for 9 years, but was surrendered to us so that large daily fines would not be levied. In the last couple of years, Roger also grew foot long toenails, changing Roger orthopedically as well. We said yes to helping Roger because it was the right thing to do, and we discovered that the other spots the town officer called could not help. You, our supporters and donors, make this ability to step up possible.
Our staff dropped everything and drove out to pick up Roger, which went really smoothly with the help of ACO Carbone and Police Officer Levenson. Arriving in the Healing Haven Barn, Roger was safe and ready for a major toenail trim with Kayla, Michelle, Michael and Tyler. (to do this, pigs are placed on their back).
At that moment, we discovered that Roger is... a girl.
Yes, after 9 years, we are a bit surprised that no one noticed she… was not… a he. (including the breeder in NH not noticing?). We are pretty sure we see a spay line too.
We will continue to work on her health, her skin condition issues, update vaccinations, check out her teeth (she does not have many) and make sure she has some softer food. We are happy she is not morbidly overweight, we will be able to get her at the right weight easily once she can exercise again. As we get to know her, we will work hard to figure out what she needs. "Roger" is Ms. Roger at the moment (although maybe she should be Rosie? Regina? Ruby?...)
Michelle noticed the (real) orange tabby cat Ms. Roger cuddled with in her original house, so Volunteer Sue bought her a little stuffed cat too, and a blanket. Kenzie and Michelle have been pampering her, finding dog beds in our stash and blankets and discovering she will eat her green veggies with a splash of apple juice as a dressing on her “salad”. Michael and Kayla did hand feeding at the start too. Kayla and Eric went back in for toenail trim number two over the weekend with a doggie dremel grinder. Ms. Roger of course loves apples, bananas and peaches, but those must be very limited to keep weight down. And remember, Ms. Roger has not lived outside, so our Healing Haven Barn is camping out!
We said yes to this emergency because when law enforcement asks, we do everything we can to help, but we are obviously taking it seriously: how we will have Ms. Roger on the long term here. I will be honest, the UFS Rescuer monthly donors really make it possible for us to look ahead and know we have the support of our followers to do this sort of emergency work. (You will see a Rescuer donor campaign later in March in fact, for “Monthly March”)
Are you looking forward to meeting Ms. Roger yet? I bet you are!