Dear friend of farm animals,
I’ve just returned with 24 of the sickest pigs who were suffering on a property in Cattaraugus County, NY.
I’ve been to this property before. In 2003, Farm Sanctuary rescued more than 100 pigs from the same hideous place. The abuser had left the pigs outside in freezing weather without shelter. Some of the pigs had actually frozen to the ground.
That rescue has haunted me for 15 years. But this one — same place, same abuser — is worse. Please help.
Instead of being left outside, more than 85 pigs were trapped inside sheds, barns, and trailers. The barns were completely windowless. The pigs locked inside had spent their lives in total darkness. The air was so thick with ammonia that my eyes immediately burned. I couldn’t stand to be inside for even a few minutes. I cannot imagine what it was like to live in there.
Cages had been built around the pigs so that they could barely move. We needed a crowbar to get some of them out! They stood in a deep layer of their own feces and, on the rare occasion that these pigs were given food (many weigh less than half of what they should), they had to eat it off the top of the filth.
Our rescue team took 24 of the most desperate animals to Farm Sanctuary, where they are receiving emergency care. Three of them are now in the ICU at Cornell University’s Nemo Farm Animal Hospital. We are stretched to capacity and there are still pigs on the site that need to be removed and placed in adoptive homes. We are in urgent need of resources, which is why I am turning to you for help.
Among the rescued is a litter of newborn piglets. They were born on Tuesday and by the time we arrived on Wednesday, eight of the seventeen babies were already dead. The remaining nine are touch-and-go. One baby boy, whom we’re calling Arlo, will likely not live to see his mother again. He has been taken to Cornell, where veterinarians are trying to save him. If he can be stabilized, he will still need surgery on his foot in order to be able to walk. Some people might say Arlo isn’t worth saving. But I have held this newborn in the palm of my hand, and I will not give up on him. I hope you won’t either. He has never even seen the light of day!