Every day we receive calls about animals in need. Every day there are tough decisions — often life or death decisions — about who we can and cannot offer a home at the sanctuary.
We can't help them all even though we want to. Kindred Spirits is already home to over 160 animals and adding any more to our numbers is a serious commitment - time, money, space...
But our hearts broke when we received a call about a struggling sanctuary that without intervention would need to make some tough decisions for their many, many pigs. A lot of these pigs I already knew personally, like Zippy.
Given the situation, it became clear that we needed to act…and fast. So we decided to offer 33 of the more medically needy pigs a new home. Hoping that by saving this group, the pigs that remained at the endangered sanctuary could be safe.
But taking on that many animals at once is a BIG commitment. Next came the hard work. We had no space ready for these pigs to go. A whole new area on our property needed to be prepared: raise fencing, add shade, build barns, dig mud holes and eliminate any toxic plants from the new area… a to-do list that would take several weeks or more to complete.
But we got word that we were in a now or never situation. So we rushed to finish the fencing and make a secure space as quickly as possible.
On the first day of the rescue, we were devastated to learn that one pig on our list, Butterfinger, had already died. In the preceding few weeks, he had started having seizures and required medical intervention, which he didn't receive. This news was proof to us that we were doing the right thing, and these pigs desperately needed our help.
It was a rough few days — physically, mentally, emotionally. Moving animals from their long-term home isn't easy. Some of the pigs were happy to walk right into our trailer, while others were scared and not interested in getting in the trailer at all. But, as a team, we handled each and every pig with care, offering treats when needed and promising them better days to come.
And after 10 trips back and forth, we finally brought 34 new residents to Kindred Spirits. And they’ve been making themselves at home. I feel lucky to meet this new cast of characters and call them friends. But still, I struggle thinking about the pigs left behind. Each time we have to say no, it's crushing... haunting. Sometimes there aren't good options for all the animals in need, and we have to stop and be thankful for the ones we can save. They are the ambassadors for those that don’t make it, like Butterfinger.
Each of the animals we rescue can live for more than a decade and some species multiple decades. As a sanctuary, we want to provide individualized care for the lifetime to each animal who comes through the gates, and we always have to keep that in mind. We are so thankful to our donors and supporters for making this work possible.
Without you, these 34 new friends can continue the memories of others and inspire hope and change. Thank you!