After having made the more than 15-hour trip from Iowa to New York, the remaining survivors from the “Big Ditch” levee arrived at Farm Sanctuary at 10 p.m. last night. The first trailer, driven by Susie Coston and Dan D’Eramo, was unloaded first – among its extremely precious passengers a mother sow, who gave birth in the flood zone, and her seven perfect little piglets. Prior to hitting the road, Dan and Susie put the piglets in a carrier next to their mother to keep them secure for travel and planned to stop every two hours so the little ones could nurse. But mama sow had other plans. Within the hour, she proved she could do the job better by skillfully dismantling the carrier, gathering her babies around her, and keeping them tucked in the straw near her belly for the rest of the trip.
A second even larger trailer leading the way to Watkins Glen held nearly everyone else, and the unloading of it upon arrival at the sanctuary resulted in a stunning parade of 40 plus beautiful pigs who filed off the truck in an orderly fashion, two-by-two and three-by-three, as soon as the doors swung open. Greeted immediately by new Farm Sanctuary friends and caregivers as they entered our Emergency Rescue & Rehabilitation Center, the pigs wasted no time exploring and diving into generous offerings of fresh herbs, carrots and watermelon before piling up together and settling into mounds of straw for sleep.
With all these amazing animals suddenly coming to our New York Shelter, the sanctuary still buzzes today with excitement and activity. Now begins the tasks of establishing feeding schedules and healthcare routines, closely watching over pregnant sows, keeping vigil by the sides of the injured and sick, and showing these incredible survivors of factory farm and flood the ways of being free. Stay tuned for lots more news to come, and see a slideshow of last night’s arrival below!