Farm animals – such as goats, chickens, pigs, cows and turkeys – are often regarded with contempt by humans who see them as having no worth beyond their status as a commodity. What many people don’t realize is that these animals are, in many cases, just as intelligent and self-aware as our beloved cats and dogs. They, too, are capable of expressing deep affection and kindness toward one another and toward humans … and at the end of the day, all they really want is to love and be loved.
Sadly, pigs are often derided as “dirty” or “stupid” animals in order to justify humans’ abuse of them … but this stereotype could not be further from the truth. Pigs have proven themselves capable of playing joystick-controlled computer games, using tools, recognizing their own names, dreaming, and comprehending abstract concepts. The reason they love to roll around in mud is because this cools them down and acts as a sunscreen – they cannot sweat and their skin contains no natural protection against the sun’s rays.
Last Friday, the Smith family, in Maryland, discovered a dying piglet on the side of the road … and they were able to look beyond the stereotypes and see that this tiny living being was in desperate need of their help. Thirteen-year-old Perry spotted the piglet, later describing him to The Washington Post as, “just a little lump in the snow, a pink lump in the snow.”
His father, also named Perry, knew that the baby animal would not survive without their help. It was around 10 p.m. at night and the temperature was freezing. So he and his children leaped into action at once, wrapping the piglet – whom they later named Wee Wee – in a sweatshirt and pulling him out of the snow. Over the following few days, the family worked hard to nurse him back to health: swaddling him in towels to ease his chills; hand-feeding him bananas and water; cuddling him as he slept; and soothing his cuts and bruises with ointment.
The piglet had nearly frozen to death by the time the Smiths found him. The elder Perry said, “He would have lasted maybe another 30 minutes to an hour.” Although things looked bleak for him, the family was determined to do whatever they could. Wee Wee soon became a cherished member of the household, although his new family realized that they would eventually have to move him to a place where he could receive the kind of specialized care he needed. They soon found out that bananas are Wee Wee’s favorite snack of all time! Everyone in the family fell head over heels in love with this sweet boy. Doesn’t this just make you sigh with happiness? All pigs – as well as other farm animals – deserve this kind of love.
Luckily, Wee Wee appears to have fully recovered from his ordeal, and is now healthy and strong! The circumstances surrounding how he ended up on the side of the road may never be known, but it is so wonderful that this kind family stepped in to save him. They decided to do whatever they could to keep him safe into the future, too, with the elder Perry determined not to “turn (him) over to someone with plans to put him on the dinner menu.” Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, Md., has agreed to take in Wee Wee as soon as the weather is mild enough to allow him to be transported.
Let’s hope that sweet Wee Wee has many years of peace and security ahead of him in his new sanctuary home. If you’re in the mood for more adorable pig rescue stories, look no further than this article! And if you want information and advice on what to do if you, like the Smith family, find an animal in distress, check out these Animal Rescue Hotlines.