Animal Friends- February 2022

Over the years, we’ve had the unique opportunity to witness our animal friends developing strong bonds and relationships with each other. The friendships formed here at the sanctuary are unique to each animal and often aid in their recovery from abuse and neglect.

We hope their stories of friendship will inspire you and show that our animal friends can and do recover from past trauma and abuse with the help of each other.

As a place of healing, our greatest hope is that the animals can live life on their terms with no expectations or pressures from us. Here are their stories.

Love is in the air here at Heartwood Haven. With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, it seems very fitting that a new friendship has been blossoming in the hay at Heartwood Haven.

February is one of the colder months at the sanctuary and when all the pigs choose their cuddle buddies. We all know that snuggling together is one of the best ways to beat the cold, and the pigs realize it too.

Ruby and Boris have been living together for almost six months now, and just recently, we’ve captured them snuggling together day and night. When pigs sleep together, it signifies a special bond.

Boris was deaf/blind and abandoned on a property to live in a trash heap. He was depressed when he was first rescued and had difficulty making friends. Shortly after Boris arrived, Linus was rescued from a concrete pit. He was eager to make new friends and was happy to give Boris the space and love he needed.

Watching Boris make new friends now is even more exciting. It’s another step in his recovery from past abuse and trauma in his life. He’s opening up his safe place to Ruby and has slowly started letting someone else into his life. This is a significant change for the Boris we met just over a year ago. He’s blossomed here at the sanctuary and is no longer depressed and grey.

Ruby’s been a big part of that lately, and we’re excited to watch their friendship continue to grow.

Before coming to Heartwood Haven, Ruby bounced around from home to home because of immobility issues in her back legs. Ruby’s limitations often meant she was the only pig in her previous homes. Pigs are as bright as a four-year-old child, so you can imagine how difficult solitary confinement is for them.

We tried all kinds of things with Ruby until we finally found something that worked. With supplements and daily laser therapy, Ruby was cruising again. Ruby’s recovery here at Heartwood Haven meant she could move into the small pig herd with Linus and Boris.

She wasn’t sure about making new friends at first. She had become very attached to the new humans in her life and enjoyed spending time with us. We’d always be here for Ruby, but it was vital for her to make pig friends.

It took a while, but Ruby finally warmed up to Boris and Linus. During December and January, they each had specific spots in their barn. They would sleep in their perfect dug-out hay nests. Eventually, those hay nests started getting closer and closer together. Before we knew it, Ruby and Boris were sleeping side by side.

Ruby still loves to see us every day, and we stop by for belly rubs and long talks. The longer she spends time with Boris, the shorter our talks become. Ruby’s learning that being a pig is fun and having other pigs to share your life with is even more special.

These small miracles are happening at the sanctuary with your support and generosity each day. Lonely pigs become friends, recovering from their past trauma and abuses.

Just like humans, pig relationships are ever-evolving, so we’ll stay tuned and keep you up to date on the world of Ruby and Boris.

With Compassion,

Hope Hilman
Director of Operations

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