How to Become a Pet Pig Foster Mom

February 18, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Posted in Pig Rescue Organizations | 3 Comments
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Lately I’ve been thinking more and more about following through on one of my life long dreams; to own a pet pig (*). I’ve had many questions about pet pig ownership, some already answered through simple researching. But I still lack the confidence to move forward.

Tex-Dworkin

Here’s me pondering pig fostering

This Wednesday I am actually trying out dog fostering for the first time through Wonder Dog Rescue, a terrific San Francisco-based organization that goes to high kill shelters and saves pups, matching them up with foster parents until the dogs find their forever homes with adopters. (I won’t even know what doggie I’m getting until Wednesday. Exciting, huh?!)

The system really seems to work; folks who cannot commit to adopting a dog can help the cause by fostering (or donating, of course.) Dogs who were once set to be euthanized are saved, and the mobile weekend adoptions match the rescued pooches with new families. Win Win!

The organization provides foster parents with food, collar, even puppy training pads, eliminating restrictive costs from the equation.

Wilbur at 3 months, the day I adopted him

Wilbur at 3 months, the day I adopted him

I chose to foster a dog because, like many people, dog euthanasia really bums me out. But also because I have one dog already (Wilbur, whom I adopted from Wonder Dog) and I want to make sure having a second dog will fit into our lives in a positive way. So fostering seemed like the perfect solution.

So back to my questions; are there any pig rescue organizations in the US (preferably in Northern California) that have foster programs? Or is the very idea of this not a good one for reasons I’m unaware?

Please chime in if you are:

  • aware of any organizations who offer pig fostering;
  • from a pet pig rescue organization with an opinion about whether or not fostering is a viable solution to the problem of unwanted piggies;
  • a pet pig owner who has any advice for a gal considering pet pig ownership.

Thanks Pig Lovers!

*Full disclosure: The truth is I DID own a pig once, but it was not a pot bellied pig. In fact, it was not bred to be a pet pig at all. It was gifted to me when I was a teen by a couple of friends and I only had him for a few months or so before finding him a proper home at a local farm. It’s a long (and funny) story perhaps I’ll share with you one day. In the meantime, for the record I do not count that fleeting moment as pet pig ownership:)

2012 Pig Lovers Gift Guide

December 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Pig Gift Ideas, Pig Rescue Organizations | 1 Comment
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2012-Pig-Gift-Guide

It’s that time of year. Time to shop for your favorite pig lovers. Here to help is your 2012 Pig Lovers Gift Guide!

This year the guide is divided into categories;

FAIR TRADE: There are quite a few socially responsible Fair Trade pig gifts out there, available from businesses who belong to the Fair Trade Federation (FTF). All members undergo a rigorous screening process that evaluates their practice of all nine Fair Trade Principles. So you can feel good buying products from FTF businesses.

Mass-produced made in China pig gifts are easy to find and usually cheap (and cheaply made), but are they worth it?

HANDMADE: Thanks to websites like Etsy, finding one-of-a-kind handmade pig gifts is becoming easier and easier. Supporting artists feels good. You should try it! (Gift Guide products link to Etsy artist’s main store page, not direct to product since product page urls change often.)

DIY: Attention do-it-yourselfers, if you like to make your own pig gifts, this is the section for you!

PIG CHARITIES: This section lists some of the terrific Pig Rescue Organizations who rely on donations to keep up their great work. Donating in your favorite pig lover’s name makes a great gift.

2012 PIG LOVERS GIFT GUIDE

FAIR TRADE

Be a Pig Cookie Jar. Bake something homemade and hide inside for a double gift! www.tenthousandvillages.com $38 Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Be a Pig Cookie Jar. Bake something homemade and hide inside for a double gift! http://www.tenthousandvillages.com $38 Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Salt n Pepper Pig Shakers. Seasoning, pig style. www.serrv.org $22 Photo Credit: Serrv

Salt n Pepper Pig Shakers. Seasoning, pig style. http://www.serrv.org $22 Photo Credit: Serrv

Piggy Bank

Terra Cotta Piggy Bank. Add a few coins to make this gift jingle. http://www.Serrv.org $14 Photo Credit: Serrv

Felt Pig Puppet. Play pig with your favorite munchkins. www.globalgoodspartners.org. $8 Photo Credit: Global Goods Partners

Felt Pig Puppet. Play pig with your favorite munchkins. http://www.globalgoodspartners.org. $8 Photo Credit: Global Goods Partners

Pigs Can Fly Candleholder

Pigs Can Fly Candle. Include extra candles to really light up this gift! http://www.tenthousandvillages.com $16 Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages

HANDMADE

Vinyl Record Pendant

Vinyl Record Pig Pendant. The artist makes pigs and a whole lot more! http://www.etsy.com/shop/RandomPrefect $15 Photo Credit: RandomPerfect

Pig & Love Rubber Stamp. Give as a gift OR use to decorate your gift cards. $1.50 www.etsy.com/shop/ppappappiyo Photo Credit: Ppappappiyo

Pig & Love Rubber Stamp. Give as a gift OR use to decorate your gift cards. $1.50 http://www.etsy.com/shop/ppappappiyo Photo Credit: Ppappappiyo

Pig Cutting Board

Bamboo Pig Cutting Board. Practical gift, sustainable wood. http://www.etsy.com/shop/BotanicalBoards $39 Photo Credit: Botanical Boards

DIY

Crochet pig hat

Pig Hat Crochet Pattern: http://www.etsy.com/shop/KraftyShack $4.99 Photo Credit: KraftyShack

Paper-Mache-piggy-bank

Make your own piggy bank! Paper mache is cool again, haven’t you heard? This blog post has easy-to-understand instructions on how to make your very own paper mache piggy bank. http://www.darkbluedragon.com Free plus supplies

Candy Box Pig Family

Candy Box Pig Family. You order the digital prints, then it’s very easy to put together — print, cut, fold, glue. http://www.etsy.com/shop/KarKarStyle $3.00 Photo Credit: KarKarStyle

PIG CHARITIES

Well, that’s a wrap on this years Pig Lovers Gift Guide. If you sell pig gifts and you didn’t make the list, by all means share it in the Comments section. The more the merrier.

Happy Holidays to all!

New Facebook Page and RSS Feed, Time to Go Hog Wild!

July 31, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Posted in Pig News, Pig Rescue Organizations | 1 Comment
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New Pig Lovers Facebook page

Well after a flood of requests (ok, well, 5) I created a Facebook page for pig lovers. It has zero fans as of right now, but there’s only one way to go from here, right? Hopefully it will become yet another happy place for pig lovers everywhere.

(The first one to click “like” is certainly not a rotten egg!)

Oh, in similar news…you can now subscribe to this blog via RSS feed! Thanks to Sherry from Ruby Ranch Pig Sanctuary who emailed me about not being able to subscribe to my RSS feed, I added RSS subscribe buttons. Duh, why I didn’t do that sooner I have no idea.

Ok that’s it for now. Time to get likin’ & subscribin’!

Take Action

To “Like” the Pig Lovers Facebook page: Click the “Like” button towards the top right there, or click on this link;

To Subscribe to RSS feed: click the RSS button (comments or posts) located on the top right, just below the search box and above the Facebook box.

Canadians Share Their Love For Pigs

July 31, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Posted in Pig Gift Ideas, Pig Rescue Organizations, Pigs with Other Animals, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Ruby Ranch Pig Sanctuary namesake "Ruby" Photo Credit: http://www.rubyranch.ca

The other day I got an email from Sherry Burnett. She’s Canadian, eh. She and her husband run a pig santuary in Ontario, Canada called Ruby Ranch Pig Sanctuary. They named the ranch after their very first potbellied pig named, you guessed it, Ruby!

Sherry emailed me:

We love pigs here in Canada too. My husband and I run a small sanctuary with 19 resident pigs, 2 sheep, 2 bunnies, 3 dogs and 3 cats, all rescues. The pigs are definitely our favorites, and have been since we got our first potbellied pig, Ruby, about 8 years ago.

Oooh, I’d love to see some pics with all those animals milling about!

I went on their website to learn more about Ruby Ranch. Here’s how they started:

Ruby was our very first rescue. She was born at a pseudo-sanctuary (a sanctuary that breeds, and has too many animals to properly care for) and when we first set eyes on her, she and her brother were in a bird cage, in a dark and smelly barn. We asked if we could purchase her, and she was sold to us for $50. She was the inspiration for Ruby Ranch. Soon after she joined our family, we reached out to other pig parents, and rescuers. We realized there was a great need for a safe haven for these very misunderstood pets.

I guess the rest is history. Way to go Sherry!

Get Involved:

Visit http://rubyranch.ca to learn more about Ruby Ranch Pig Sanctuary. (You can sponsor a pig, which makes for a super cool gift for that special pig lover in your life, even if that pig lover is YOU!)

Contact Info: email Sherry@RubyRanch.ca

A Gesture of Kindness Leads to Pig Sanctuary Discovery

July 14, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Posted in My Pig Collection, Pig Rescue Organizations | 2 Comments
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Ironwood Pig Sanctuary card

Yesterday my work pal Drea walked up to my desk and handed me an envelope.

No, there was no cash in it. (We work at a non-profit!)

It was a pig card that she bought at a shop in Phoenix, AZ called Blueberry Deluxe Boutique where she sells some of her handmade accessories.

The card inside read: “Hey Tex-I couldn’t resist thinking of you when I saw this :)”

Do I work with swell people or what?!

I love my new card. On the back is a cute little pig drawing with the words “Ironwood Pig Santuary” so of course, I had to investigate, and boy am I glad I did!

Thanks to Drea’s good deed, I discovered Ironwood Pig Sanctuary, a wonderful place located in Arizona that “provides shelter and care for unwanted and abused pot bellied pigs.”

Their website is great, filled with helpful information about pot bellied pigs,plus what the non-profit organization does, volunteering and visiting opportunities and a whole lot more. The only thing I didn’t see was a place to purchase their cute cards online. Oh well, perhaps in the future.

If you want to learn more about this pig sanctuary, check out their video below. My favorite part is when co-founder Mary lays down the important law: “There is no such thing as a teacup pig.” You said it Mary!

I may be crossing the country later this summer. Who knows, perhaps I’ll stop by Ironwood for a visit. Thanks Drea for your random act of kindness, and Ironwood Pig Sanctuary co-founders Ben and Mary for all you do!

If you’d like to support Ironwood Pig Sanctuary, good for you! Just click here you awesome person!

Woman Threatens to Shave Head to Save Pigs

May 25, 2010 at 6:32 am | Posted in Pig News, Pig Rescue Organizations, Pigs with Other Animals, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Pigs Peace Volunteer Donna with a pig friend

Forget bake sales and silent auctions, raffles and gala events. When it comes to non-profit fundraising, one animal activist has a different strategy; baldness.

Pig rescue organization volunteer Donna Gonder is offering to shave her head to raise funds for Pigs Peace Sanctuary, a non-profit safe haven for abandoned and abused pigs in Stanwood, WA. The rules are simple;

  • If Donna reaches her fundraising goal of $180,000, she will shave her entire head. First snip goes to whoever donates the most.
  • If Donna raises $20,000, an anonymous donor has agreed to match it with another $20k
  • If you donate $10,000+ Donna will let YOU shave her head. Pigs Peace reps assured me that if they receive more than one $10,000+ donation, they’ll happily seek out other heads to shave. (Um, not it.)

What would a pig rescue organization do with $180,000 dollars? I’ll get to that, but first, you may be wondering why there’s a need for a pig rescue organization. Because despite being blessed with the gift of common sense, many humans still believe there is such a thing as a full grown pig the size of a teacup. So they buy these “magic” pigs and abandon them once the reality of size sets in. Animal shelters won’t accept the unwanted pigs so voila..pig rescue organizations to the rescue!

Here are five quick facts about Pigs Peace Sanctuary:

  1. This organization really has its you-know-what together. Scratch that. That’s opinion, not fact.
  2. Pigs Peace Founder Judy

    Judy Woods (pictured left) founded Pigs Peace Sanctuary back in 1994, and they’ve been providing medicine, nutrition and care to its pigs ever since.

  3. You may find Judy’s son Nathan working at the Sanctuary; he comes across (in their documentary) as a compassionate vegetarian animal lover and a great son. Oh, AND he’s cute. What’s not to like?!
  4. Pigs Peace Sanctuary doesn’t just cater to pigs; they also cater to other abused animals including horses, dogs, llamas, cats and sheep.
  5. The sanctuary offers the public an opportunity to visit and learn about animals, farming, and the foods we eat. I’m glad someone is teaching our next generation about where their food comes from. (I met a 5 year old once who tried to convince me that there was in fact a fruit roll-up tree. Scary stuff.)

If this isn’t enough to impress you, then watch one of the Pigs Peace videos to see for yourself. There’s a 30 minute documentary and some shorter videos as well.

So about that $180,000. Pigs Peace Sanctuary will use the money to purchase more land for pigs to roam free, plus fund a new education center where people can learn about animals. Additional land would enable the sanctuary to hold fundraising events on site without disturbing the animals or wasting money on outside venue costs. As Donna explains, every single penny that comes in is used for the animals and educating the public on how wonderful these creatures really are.

If Pigs Peace Sanctuary had a dollar for every idiot who buys a cute tiny piglet thinking it would stay that way, perhaps they wouldn’t need creative fundraisers like Donna.

Animals are not the only ones who stand to gain if volunteer Donna reaches her fundraising goal. If she shaves her head, Donna plans to donate her hair to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

I don’t have a lot of blog readers (yet), so if you are in the minority and reading this, please consider donating as much as you can to help Pigs Peace Sanctuary buy land. Get to know them better by visiting their website. You’ll find profiles of the sanctuary pigs with photos and stories of how each one was found. Plus they do a great job of showcasing what it’s like to live (and visit) there.

Here’s how to donate if you know George Clooney:

Do you know George Clooney? He lost his beloved 18 year old pet pig Max back in 2006. (RIP Max.)  I assume George is loaded, and clearly he has good taste in pets, so I’m thinking he might be willing to donate to Pigs Peace Sanctuary in Max’s name (there’s a ‘donate in honor of a loved one‘ feature on the Pigs Peace website), so if you know George, do me a favor and pass this post on to him.

Here’s how to donate if you don’t know George Clooney or if you ARE George Clooney:

  1. Log onto http://pigspeace.org/main/donate.html
  2. Choose your donation amount and method (Check or Paypal)
  3. Write “head shaving” in the donation notes OR email atumnnn@gmail.com  a heads up (no pun intended) so they can keep track of all head shaving related donations

For questions or to help with this fundraising project, email pigheadedgirl@gmail.com or call (206) 289-0957.

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