A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO MINI-PIGS

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO MINI-PIGS, INC.

WHO WE ARE:

Mini-Pigs, Inc. is a non-profit, no-kill sanctuary specializing in the rescue and care of all breeds of miniature pigs.  We are the only sanctuary of this type in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The sanctuary is located on 17 mostly wooded acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Culpeper, Virginia…. about 1 ½ hours southwest of Washington, D.C.

Mini-Pigs, Inc. is the final home for over 70 rescued miniature pigs, 2 pygmy goats and several rescued dogs and cats.  Here the animals receive thorough and comprehensive medical treatment and live in small grassy and wooded pastures with other rescued animals.  Once their medical needs are provided for, each pig is slowly introduced into an established herd of other pigs based on size, temperament and social skills.  Those pigs that need rehabilitation or resocialization are given special care before and during their introduction into their new herd.

MISSION STATEMENT:

MINI-PIGS, Inc., is a non-profit, no-kill sanctuary dedicatedprimarily to the rescue of abused, abandoned and neglected miniture pigs.  Operating on 17 acres in Cupeper, Virginia, all rescued animals are provided with a full range of medical care, fed, housed, cared for and given a safe and loving home for the remainder of their lives.  MINI-PIGS, Inc., also operates an adoption program, a placement service, an educational outreach program and serves as a rescource and point of assistance for miniature pig owners, shelters and animal rescue groups in the region.  Working with other sanctuaries, animal rescue agencies, animal rights and animal welfare organizations, vegitarian groups, various legislative bodies and the public, MINI-PIGS, Inc., exists to rescue miniature pigs, educate the public about animal rights and to protect the rights and enhance the welfare of all animals.

OUR PHILOSPHIES:

As a “no-kill” sanctuary, Mini-Pigs, Inc. does not euthanize any rescued animal unless the animal is suffering from an obviously mortal wound or terminal disease…. and then only after all possible veterinary care is afforded the animal.  Each and every animal rescued is allowed to live out its life here at the sanctuary free from hunger, never to fear neglect, abuse or abandonment again.  The animals spend their days doing what pigs do best: eating, grazing, rooting in the woods, playing with the other pigs, napping, laying in their mud holes and, generally, being little pigs.

All the animals and humans that live at the sanctuary are vegetarians.  We try, through example and education, to support the rights of all animals to live safe and secure lives, free from exploitation, fear and pain  .  We strongly support the animal rights agenda as well as a number of human rights issues.  The humans at the sanctuary do not “own” the animals living here.  We all live side-by-side as equals in an atmosphere of coexistence and mutual respect.  There are no “pets” at the sanctuary….only creatures needing a refuge and safe haven from lives of abuse, abandonment or desperation.

OUR POLICIES:

Mini-Pigs, Inc. adheres to a strict spay/neuter policy.  We do not breed pigs.  Intact boars are not allowed on the sanctuary and we are proud of the fact that we have never had an accidental pregnancy at the sanctuary.  Many females can not be spayed because of their size and age, so a “no-boar” policy is absolutely necessary to preclude any accidental pregnancies.  Rescued boars are taken directly to the sanctuary veterinarian where they are neutered and quarantined before being brought to the sanctuary.  We do not abort rescued sows who are in late-term pregnancy. Pregnant sows are provided a separate “birthing area” and allowed to deliver their piglets naturally and raise them as a sow would raise her piglets in the wild.  Piglets are vaccinated and spayed/neutered as soon as is medically possible.

Mini-Pigs, Inc., does not sell pigs.  We occasionally adopt pigs to good homes, but only after a careful and very thorough screening process during which we ascertain that the pig is being adopted into a good and loving home that can provide a proper environment for a miniature pig.  We insist on meeting and interviewing all prospective owners and require that all prospective owners visit the sanctuary for education on miniature pigs and their unique needs and care requirements.  We also conduct a home inspection to ensure that the pig is being placed in a suitable environment.  New owners are required to execute a stringent adoption contract which includes an agreement to abide by a “standards of care” checklist provided by the sanctuary.  Mini-Pigs, Inc. agrees to take back any pig adopted from the sanctuary should the adoption not work out.

HOW WE OPERATE:

Since our funding is extremely limited, Mini-Pigs, Inc. is currently only able to take in those pigs in abusive situations, or those that have been abandoned or neglected.  As a general rule, we do not take in pet pigs whose owners simply do not want them any more….unless their rescue is a matter of survival.  We do, however, operate an aggressive placement program and work diligently with the pigs’ owners to try to find suitable homes for pet pigs who can no longer stay in their current homes.

In addition, Mini-pigs, Inc., provides an education and outreach program designed to reduce the number of pigs needing rescue by educating the public, shelter operators, and even lawmakers on the unique needs of miniature pigs.  Tours of the sanctuary are available by appointment and the directors are available to speak to any group interested in learning more about these unique and wonderful little animals.  Visitors are provided with a guided tour of the facilities and are allowed to interact with the animals.  We are in the process of initiating an internship program for individuals as well as small groups who desire to learn more about pigs or simply assist with the day-to-day chores associated with operating a sanctuary.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO MINI-PIGS

Mini-Pigs, Inc. networks constantly with pig owners, other sanctuaries, shelters, animal rights advocates, legislative bodies and the public in an ongoing effort to help miniature pigs, as well as all other animals.  We are members of numerous animal welfare and animal rights organizations, including: the ASPCA, Humane Society, PeTA and several other animal rights groups.  While we specialize in the rescue and care of miniature pigs, we fervently believe in the rights of all animals to exist in a healthy and appropriate environment free from hunger, fear, abuse and exploitation.

WHERE WE ARE GOING:

We are a young, but growing sanctuary.  We will continue to grow, build, expand and do our small part to help all animals as funding and public support allows. We firmly believe that small, grassroots, high-quality sanctuaries can do a great deal through education and example to stop the abuse and exploitation of all animals in their communities.  While large, highly visible sanctuaries and rescue organizations do a marvelous and worthwhile job and are able to capitalize on name recognition,  tap large funding sources and capture national media attention, it is our belief that the growing number of smaller, more community-oriented sanctuaries will be instrumental in educating, changing attitudes, promoting local animal welfare and animal rights issues at the local level.  It is our hope that small inroads made at the local level will soon swell to regional, state and national levels.