Antonio and Bertha
Woodstock Sanctuary took in 2 of the piglets from Farm Sanctuary’s rescue (see below) of a beaten and burned pregnant sow. She gave birth to a staggering 16 piglets in her litter—modern breeding practices are responsible—and we took in tiny little Antonio and Bertha to be raised here at our Sanctuary.
With so many piglets their momma didn’t have enough nipples to feed all her babies, so at only about 3 weeks old we had staff on day and night shifts to give them the milk replacer they needed 8 times a day.
Now full-grown pigs, Antonio and Bertha are thriving members of the herd. They have grown into their unique selves but can still be seen cuddling like they did as babies. And both will gladly accept a good belly rub from staff or visitors.
From Farm Sanctuary’s account of the rescue:
Just a few days before July 4, Farm Sanctuary’s Emergency Rescue Team arrived at a factory pig farm where we were alerted to the flagrant abuse of a pregnant breeding sow. As she was moved from a cramped gestation crate to an equally cramped farrowing crate to give birth, a worker brutally kicked and beat her and then ran an electrified cattle prod over the length of her body as she screamed in pain. The assault ended only when the sow collapsed, at which point she was dragged into the crate by her ears.
When they were informed of the sow’s cruel mistreatment, the local police department and SPCA contacted Farm Sanctuary. Thanks to the quick and conscientious intervention of these agencies, too rare in cases of farm animal abuse, we were able to come promptly to the aid of the expectant mother. When we opened the crate to free the sow, whom the farm owner referred to as “feisty,” she rose reluctantly to her feet, glancing at us warily as if she expected to be kicked or beaten again at any moment. We didn’t see feistiness, only profound fear, as we helped her into our transport trailer.
Then, a mere eight hours after she arrived at our New York Shelter, the sow gave birth to 16 premature piglets. The premature labor was, no doubt, a result of her extreme stress. Our new Melrose Small Animal Hospital proved to be a tremendous asset during this emergency delivery, allowing us to keep the piglets safe and comfortable as we cleaned the birthing area... [read more at Farm Sanctuary’s site]