Around 6pm on October 27, 2011, as the sanctuary was closing down for the evening and getting ready for what turned out to be a very successful benefit (Jeff Mangum in concert to benefit WFAS), a call came in from Ulster County Animal 911. There was a pig running around on Route 28, less than 10 miles away. The police had managed to get her into someone’s garage and called Ulster County SPCA but she was more than a little restless. Accounts of her size and type were very confusing ‘a pot bellied pig, 180lbs, pink….’ it was tricky to know what to take with us to bring her back easily.
When we got there a few minutes later the police were waiting and the pig was in the garage with a rope round her pulling one of the officers round in circles.
Mike Stura, volunteer extraordinaire, reversed the trailer close to the garage and using the power of food and some muscle she was on the trailer pretty quick. It would be good to say it was peaceful but like most pigs she didn’t go quietly. We asked about the legal status but no one was sure and the police just wanted her off the road for her own and everyone else’s safety. There would be contact with the police in a few days to establish what would happen next.
Back at the sanctuary we had a pen filled with cozy straw and a meal ready for her. She came out quite readily and had a nose around but seemed to feel safe and at home quite quickly, settling into her bed and vocalizing with the other pigs in the barn. Then, just before leaving for our concert benefit in town, we got a call from someone asking about their pig. We confirmed that we had her and that she was safe and asked the “owner” to call back the next day. We never heard from the person claiming to be the owner (we’re happy to say!), and Olive became a part of the Woodstock family.
We named her Olive after the town she was found in and she has already shown us she has quite a spirit. She is a mystery as we still don’t know where she came from or her history but we do know we love having her here and there are many signs that suggest she should be here –not least that she came on the same day that one of our much loved older pigs had passed away.