6 min read

Rescued Pig Gets Her Very Own Blanket — And Won't Let It Go

"She loves to cuddle under her blanket in her straw ... and be sung to and petted!"

Not so long ago, an 11-year-old potbellied pig had no reason to trust anyone. 

In December, Anna — who had been bought as a family pet when she was a baby and then left behind when her family moved — was discovered at a vacant property in Ontario, Canada, in a terrible state. 

"The people who owned her put their house on an online auction," Carla Reilly Moore, founder of Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary in Kingston, Ontario, told The Dodo. "They did not take Anna, and told nobody that there was an animal on the property. By the time the new owner went to the property, more than two weeks had passed."

Neglected potbellied pig with overgrown hooves
Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary

For over two weeks, the already neglected pig went without food or water until workers from a scrap metal company sent to clean up the property found Anna cowering in an abandoned shed.

"They contacted the OSPCA but they did not come out for more than three days," Moore said. "In the meantime the employee of the scrap metal company and his girlfriend gave Anna food and water. The OSPCA said that, had they not done that, Anna would have died the first night, she was that close to death." 

When Anna arrived at the sanctuary, she was still scared and in pain. Anna's hooves were so overgrown she couldn't stand up without crying out. It was hard to imagine she'd ever let anyone get close to her again.

Neglected potbellied pig with overgrown hooves
Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary

But Anna has surprised everyone. Since being taken in by the sanctuary and loved and comforted, Anna has made huge strides, physically and emotionally.

"As it turns out, Anna absolutely loves to be pampered," Moore said. "I sit with her at least twice a day and talk to her and sing to her. She really likes the song ‘You Are My Sunshine!'"

Rescued potbellied pig eating grapes out of rescuer's hand
Anna loves eating grapes out of her rescuer's hand. | Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary
Rescued potbellied pig playing in hay
Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary

The potbellied pig is also inspiring others. "Anna touched so many people's lives, and one of those people is Jeni," Moore said. Jeni had been following Anna's progress and was so inspired by the pig's resilience that she decided to do something especially sweet for her.

"She knit her handmade blanket. She wrapped it up and put a beautiful note on it saying it was from Santa Claus," Moore said. "Anna absolutely loves it! She loves to cuddle under her blanket in her straw, under her brand-new radiant heater, and be sung to and petted!"

Christmas gift blanket for rescued potbellied pig
Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary
Rescued pig in a blanket
Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary

Anna is also opening up to other pigs at the sanctuary. "Last night when I went in to check on her two of our other older girls were in her stall with her," Moore said. "She’s starting to make friends and is more comfortable coming out into the main area of the barn."

But there's something a little bittersweet about all this positive progress. "To see her enjoy the love she is receiving is a double-edged sword. It’s hard to imagine being neglected for 11 years with no love," Moore added.

Rescued potbellied pig in blanket
Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary

Still, Anna seems to be happy to look forward, rather than backward.

"Now she happily grunts when she sees me," Moore said. "After her meal she has become accustomed to snuggling in beside me as I rub her and scratch behind her ears and sing to her. She is a true testament of resilience, and every day shows me that no matter how hard things can get, it can be overcome with a little bit of time and a little bit of love."

Rescued potbellied pig in blanket
Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary
You can help Anna, and all the other rescued animals at the sanctuary, by making a donation.