Pigs are among the most intelligent and affectionate animals in the world, yet they are rarely treated as such. Every year 100 million pigs are forced to live in cramped, filthy conditions in factory farms, subjected to a life of stress and fear before they are ultimately slaughtered for food. Despite their ability to solve puzzles, make friends and show empathy for one another, these animals are reduced to commodities in the food industry and valued as little more than their market worth.

While this is the brutal reality for most pigs, there are a lucky few who manage to escape this fate with the help of kind individuals: Gabby, Xena and Hercules are a few of these lucky pigs.


These three piglets were born on a ranch to a mother whose milk had dried up after years of constant breeding. Unable to get the nourishment they needed, these piglets were doomed to a short life. In the eyes of the farmer, caring for these piglets would cost more than they were worth, so nothing was done to help them.

Thankfully, Darci Feigel, took it upon herself to intervene and save these small lives. Hand nursing the piglets for three weeks, Feigel helped them grow into healthy little pigs. However, knowing she wouldn’t have the space to care for these three once they grew to be full size, she contacted Farm Sanctuary.


With the help of Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter Director, the pigs were set to be moved to Pasado’s Safe Haven in Monroe, WA, for lifelong care! It took 12 hours to transport Gabby, Xena and Hercules to their new home, but along the way the Farm Sanctuary team got to know the little piglets a bit better.


According to Susie, “Xena is somewhat timid and shy. Hercules, the biggest, and the only boy, was a little bossy with his sisters when it came to sharing the solid food they received in addition to their bottles. Gabby, the smallest of the three, is a feisty and hungry gal. During bottle feedings, she demanded to be fed first.”


Thanks to the help of these amazing people, these three piglets will have the rest of their lives to grow into these already boisterous personalities!

To learn more about Farm Sanctuary, click here.

All image source: Farm Sanctuary