A 2 night stay for up to 6 people at the wonderful Hempsall Farm Luxury Vegan Glamping.
All proceeds will assist our micro sanctuary in Norfolk where we offer a forever loving home to any animal in need that we can.
Last year we were asked to offer a home to Ophelia after it was clear she wasn’t settling well at a larger sanctuary, as it seems she doesn’t like other pigs!
Ophelia started life as a pet pig. She’s a micro pig, an unrecognised breed that has been selectively bred to produce the smallest pigs possible. This selective breeding also brings with it all manner of health complications as they grow, not to mention that vets receive no training on the specific needs of this unrecognised breed!
As a younger pig she was raised around dogs. Her carers ran a dog boarding kennels and we think this is why she prefers the company of our four rescue dogs over her own kind.
When she was 7 years old her carers decided that they would purchase a pair of piglets, again from a mini pig breeder. But Ophelia didn’t take to the new additions. After several failed attempts to introduce the new babies to our strong-willed girl, her owners decided she had to go! Heartbreakingly choosing to keep the cute baby pigs over Ophelia. She is just adorable, we just can’t understand how you could give up on her.
A sanctuary in Cambridge offered her a forever home and it was hoped that after careful introductions she would settle with their other mini pigs, but Ophelia had other plans. She enjoyed a year of having her own large paddock, but frequently got cross if her neighbours got too close to her fence. Which is when the sanctuary reached out to us. Knowing that we had no other pigs on site, but several rescue dogs, we all thought it might be the perfect solution for Ophelia, and it was. The day she arrived she happily trotted off the trailer into her brand new, purpose built, enclosure. She now rules the site, with our rescue horse and sheep happily sharing their large field with her. And of course she has our gorgeous pack of rescue dogs for company too.
We’ve all been so happy with how Ophelia settled into life here on our micro sanctuary and we couldn’t imagine life without her. Snack time is one of the highlights of her day (surely it is for all of us)
So last week, when she experienced a medical emergency, we were all very concerned. At around 10 years old, Ophelia still has a long life ahead of her. Unfortunately Ophelia wasn’t spayed as a youngster, in the Uk this just isn’t done. Most female pigs are killed by 5 years old after they’ve been bred from over and over again, so spaying female pigs is not common practice. As a pet pig, Ophelia was never actually forced to have babies thankfully. However, likely due to the selective breeding that creates micro pigs, she is now suffering some sort of growth in her uterus. Despite showing no signs of pain or discomfort, something began to push out from her rear end.
The vet was called and Ophelia needed to be sedated so that they could investigate. Anaesthesia is a risky experience for pigs, but in order to find out what was going on it was necessary. We waited anxiously for their diagnosis, however the vet then told us that she would need to be taken to Cambridge University Vet Hospital for treatment. As it’s was suspected that she had a tumour which would need removing, along with a hysterectomy, something our usual vet practice was unable to perform.
It has now been confirmed after further expense scans (ultra sound and CT scans) that she has a non cancerous growth in her uterus and a relaxing cervix due to her age is causing the mass and some of her iterus to be pushed out, so the next stage is to proceed with the hysterectomy which should put her back in good health if all goes well with the procedure.
Our mission is to provide an excellent quality of life for all of our rescues, no expense is too great to ensure their safe and happy future. But large vet bills like this are always a shock, as all care costs for our sanctuary animals are funded from our private finances and we have had other recent vet bills for two of our sheep (Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury) and our rescue cat from Spain, Edward.
We know that with the right treatment Ophelia will go on to have many more happy years being the boss of the field! And so we are asking for your help to make sure this is possible. THANK YOU for any support you can help with!
Here are some of our other rescues that we have given a forever home to.
Dylan came to us from Romania and he is a total wally and party boy
Lobo was rescued all the way from China and is now the sweetest dog after learning to trust humans again:
Bowie was a lamb when we rescued him from becoming a meal for someones Easter
Mick Jagger getting in to trouble as usual as he was growing up!
Here are Mulan and Freddie enjoying a cold breakfast together a few weeks ago
Anything you can spare to help her would be absolutely amazing. Thank you from us and Ophelia!!
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