Animal sanctuary in Aldergrove dealing with unexpected litter of piglets
Happy Herd, an animal sanctuary in Aldergrove, agreed to foster two abused pigs and wound up with a litter of piglets. They need monetary help to care for them - the mom needed $1,500 surgery and the runt of the litter - pictured by himself and with his mom is named Garth - has been very ill. (Submitted Photo)
When Diane Marsh agreed to foster two abused pot-bellied pigs for the SPCA, she didn't know they would be bringing along extra house guests.
The two female pigs — Lulu and Lily — and 17 neglected dogs were rescued from a home in Maple Ridge two and a half months ago. The SPCA asked Marsh to put them up at Happy Herd, her four-acre Aldergrove home and sanctuary for animals in need of homes.
The pigs were scared of people and would “scream” if anyone came near them. The foster situation that Marsh agreed to was quickly abandoned.
“They needed to have a stable life,” said Marsh. We were at capacity but there was no way they could be sent elsewhere. We couldn’t separate them. There is such a close bond."
She was assured that neither of the pigs was pregnant when she agreed to keep them. Imagine her surprise when she woke up 10 days ago, went out to feed the animals and found a litter of piglets running around. Mom Lulu had been gaining weight, but Marsh figured the volunteers were spoiling her with treats.
So now Marsh, who runs the farm with her partner Stephen Wiltshire, are pulling out the stops to house and care for the family and that hasn’t been easy.
Lulu had five piglets, four were healthy but one, the runt named Garth, had serious health problems and has to be bottle fed every couple hours. Garth is living in the house with Marsh and is on penicillin and other medicines.
The problems continued when mom Lulu fell ill after delivering the babies. One of the babies had died before being born and she required $1,500 surgery. The vet told her there was a 50-50 chance she would make it through the surgery, but she did and is now on the mend.
“She is like a miracle pig,” said Marsh.