You almost don't see him as you first enter the barn; his brown hair mixes well with the color of the straw he's napping in. But after a few minutes your eyes adjust, and you're able to distinguish the thick, floppy ears interrupting the smooth line of bedding, and the porcine figure snoozing on the barn floor.
This is J.D., one of residents of Farm Sanctuary's New York Shelter pig barn. He's warm, dry and loved now-a reality that's hard to believe if you would've seen him when he first arrived at our sanctuary.
J.D. was rescued on a rainy afternoon, when a woman in western New York pulled the sopping wet piglet from her yard. He appeared to have arrived by way of a stream running through her property. Recent warm temperatures had melted the region's ample snow, causing waterways to develop a brisk enough current to carry a piglet downstream.
The woman contacted Farm Sanctuary just in time-the temperature was set to plummet again, and it was doubtful that the shivering, weak J.D. would have survived the cold night ahead.
Once J.D. arrived at our New York Shelter, staff immediately began the process of providing for the floundering piglet's basic needs. We knew we didn't have much time to act; J.D. was in terrible shape.
He was a pathetic sight to behold in those first hours. His movements were sluggish; he was emaciated and, ironically, dehydrated; and the poor guy could barely raise his head up to eat.
We took him to Cornell University Hospital for Animals that day. There, veterinarians assessed his physical state, rating him an astounding 2.5 out of a possible 9 for body condition-an indication of severe malnourishment. They also found J.D. was suffering from some minor abdominal pain as well as a heart murmur, which may clear up on its own. His blood work revealed low potassium and an increased amount of white blood cells.
J.D. was given an injection of selenium and vitamin E, and started on an IV drip of fluids with potassium. He was also given a broad-spectrum antibiotic for pneumonia, after the examination revealed lung and nasal respiratory sounds.
After his tumultuous start, J.D. is now a grown pig, thriving and healthy. He's an important member of our Farm Sanctuary family, capturing the hearts of many.
Although J.D. is pint-sized in comparison to the rest of our herd, his attitude more than makes up the difference. J.D. often fails to adhere to the pig pecking order, his plucky behavior making him quite the rapscallion.
And he's found two partners in crime: Alfred and Violet. Both are about J.D.'s age and size and the three have become fast friends.
Whether it was his dramatic arrival, or J.D.'s enthusiasm for life, our little pig is a lovable addition to our New York Shelter, bringing more than his share of joy and fun.
Rescued steer finds the friendship he's been yearning for.
Thunder had been living at Nevins Farm, a shelter for animals in Massachusetts. Thunder had many human admirers, but he had no cattle herd to call his own. Because of the kindness and generosity of two Farm Sanctuary members, Thunder was brought to our New York Shelter. Read more about what happened when he met our cattle residents.