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Local piglet

From: Stephanie H.
Sent on: Monday, October 6, 2008 2:00 PM
Below is a story about a local piglet, saved after falling from a truck. He avoided slaughter and is now living at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary! Two of our meetup members took him to the sanctuary this weekend (well, halfway there!) and shared this wonderful story. Story below, but story with pictures at If you get a chance, please thank Poplar Spring and the owner of Amazing Acres - links below. Poplar Spring of course would appreciate any donations as a thank you for taking our local pig! And a big thanks to Deanna and Shana for transporting the piglet up to Virginia!

Local Pig Makes Good!

This is the story of a very fortunate North Carolina hog piglet that was rescued not once, but twice, before finding a permanent home. Shana Burtle and Deanna Graves of our MeetUp facilitated his final relocation to a farm sanctuary in Maryland, but even before that, he had quite a journey.

He was rescued by a local family who saw him fall off the back of a truck of piglets that were destined to go to slaughter. He was supposedly among many piglets that fell from the truck. The family was able to catch only one. They took him home and named him Bacon, which is ironically the very thing they saved him from becoming. He was only a few weeks old and very tiny, when he lived with the family as a pet, sharing the couch with their dogs. As the pig began to grow, they realized they could not keep him as a pet for much longer. They contacted Kathleen Kesselring, the owner of Amazing Acres. Amazing Acres is a small teaching farm in Holly Springs, geared toward programs for children. They are not equipped for large farm animals, but they took one look at the piglet and agreed to take him in. They heard the story of how he was found and thankfully changed his name from Bacon to Harley (like the motorcycle ?hogs?).

Harley became the center of attention at the fall farm tour, as Kathleen told all of the families and children she met about the story of little Harley, and how he fell from that truck and was spared the fate of so many piglets that live and die in North Carolina every day. She told of how he was packed into the back of a truck with so many other piglets, probably not even crated so that they could shove as many as they could into the truck, and send them on their way to fatten up and wait for slaughter.

Kathleen and her family cared for Harley the best they could for as long as they could, but knew that he was bred to grow very big, very fast and that soon he would not fit on their small farm anymore. She was facing a dilemma of what to do with Harley, knowing also that he would get so much bigger, and much more quickly than she would be prepared for.

Shana happened to be at that farm tour and heard Harley?s story. She talked to Kathleen about Harley?s situation. Being from Maryland, Shana knew about a farm animal sanctuary called Poplar Spring that is located just outside of D.C. in Poolesville, MD. Shana contacted Poplar Spring and prayed for a miracle. As fate would have it, Poplar Spring had just one vacancy left for a pig, and was able to take him in. The logistics were worked out between Kathleen at Amazing Acres and Poplar Spring, and within a matter of weeks, the orphan piglet was on his way to a new home. It was hard for Kathleen to let Harley go, but in the end she realized it was the best and only option if he was to be saved.

On Sunday October 5, 2008 Harley left Amazing Acres for his new home in Maryland. Escorted by Deanna and Shana in Deanna?s Jeep, Harley was taken to a midway point in Richmond, VA, where they were met by Dave Hoerauf of Poplar Spring. He accompanied Harley the rest of the way to back to Maryland, to the Poplar Spring, the farm sanctuary he runs with is wife, Terry Cummings.

There as Harley grows from cute piglet to gentle giant, surrounded by other rescued farm animals, he will now be able to be a true ambassador for his kind, touching the lives of the many people that will come to visit him. He will remind everyone who meets him that all animals, including farm animals are sentient beings, deserving of our respect and compassion.


Please consider a donation to Poplar Spring to help care for Harley and the other farm animals that reside there.

For more about Poplar Spring:

For more on Amazing Acres:

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