To all our friends, donors,

This is the time of year that we rejoice and look back at all we have accomplished this year. It's a time of refreshing and knowing that we may not have saved them all but that we did the best we could to all that we could. We could not have done it without each of you and your commitment to the animals everywhere this past year.

You are what makes this organization work. You keep the wheels turning literally. Many animals have been transported and have found homes because you cared. Many are loved for the first time. We are honored to be a part of it and to bring you the Animal Angel News with information and stories and good reports.
How is pig care in sanctuaries different from the North to the South?

What special things do you have to do?

Whitney For one thing, food availability is different.  Most pastures in the North have good lush grass pastures because of the short Spring and summer, and the winter snow and ice melt. Our grass in the south grows all year long with few freezes. Unless we fertilize and add to the pastures it is usually puny,  mostly dry and our pigs can root or stomp it to death down to the sand. Most pigs, except the youngest and the oldest or the ill, can eat a healthy full diet of pasture in the spring and summer months. Here in the south we have to pellet feed all year round to supplement the grass, except when we get a few boxes of vegetables in from the grocers to add to their diet.
 Our southern pigs can winter in a shed, stable or hut with either a few blankets or a bedding of  hay/straw. Northern pigs have to have heaters, heat lights, or heat boards in the stalls, barns, or very well insulated huts. Some sanctuaries have to remove the snow by tractor away from the huts so the pigs can go out for food, water and potty, or they would be snowbound all winter. Some keep their pigs in a large barn with doors closed and clean up the poop from inside, as you would horses. 
 We don't have to buy expensive heated waterers for our herd. Some large sanctuaries even have to build wind shelters or a shed over the waterers to keep the snow drifts away and to allow the pigs to drink fresh water with less exposure to the elements. These waterers can cost from $200.00 up to $800.00 each depending on the sizes. If you have a few pigs you can break up the ice in their water bowls by hand several times a day adding warm to hot water to keep it from freezing too soon, but even this is horrible to do when it's freezing outside.  If a snow storm knocks out the electricity, that is bad news for large sanctuaries because of the heating or water needed. Water lines can freeze and burst, making it difficult to provide water daily. Pigs drink as much or more water in the winter as they do in the hot summer, so  available water is an important element to a sanctuary. Although you can feed pigs once a day when necessary, if snowstorm conditions arise the pigs may have to wait for 24 hours or longer before food is delivered close by for them to find.
 Winter is much harder on pig's health. Many more pigs are ill with pneumonia, bladder infections from holding their bladders too full or too long or not drinking enough. Injuries from ice and snow accidents such as broken bones, injured muscles, or sprains happen easier in the cold, wet, and iced areas. Some pigs are just too old to winter well and have to be vetted or euthanized because of the cold conditions. Our old pigs here in the south have to winter also, but they have only a few weeks to days of freezing weather to get through.  Then comes the Spring thaw and all the river and creek flooding  happens. There is also wet, muddy ground, and difficulties getting around for the animals and people alike.  These are again bad conditions for slipping and injuries. With us  we have just a few days  or weeks of rain, and it seeps into the ground here in the south much easier so we have much less flooding and mud. 
 As for the individual pigs, most potbelly pigs hate the cold and would rather sleep hunkered down all winter. Most of the big farm pigs love the cold weather and will play out in the snow and ice as much as they can. Feral  pigs are mostly the same,  they'd rather play than sleep, and Kune Kune pigs are winter fans also. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. I've seen a few potbellied pigs romp in the snow when the sun is shining.
 I know there are many more subtle differences, but the main differences between the north and south for sanctuaries are due to the weather conditions. Southerners have to worry about hurricanes and heat stroke, not to mention that our lightening strikes here in Florida are very large, violent and frequent in daily summer storms. Our bugs are worst and last longer during the year, and some diseases don't die in our milder winters so we have viruses and bacteria all year long. I guess that's about all we southerners really have to worry about, except for the few truly cold days and nights we may have.  Lucky, aren't we?    Su Lee

Su Lee @ BrodiePig Farm in sunny Florida
Rescuing ~ Placing ~ Transporting
My Family: Brodie, Cadence, Aidan, Leila, & Helen


You can give through to  or mail a check to FAREC, 1822 Meister Hills Rd., Deer Lodge TN 37726

All donations are tax deductable and goes to the animals.


By: Lorelei Pulliam of VA

With close to one hundred full time porcine residents and many others that have passed through our gates and onto other homes, we have seen our share of sickness.  When I see newcomers wondering about medical care for their sanctuaries, I know there are a few things that we can share but none more important than to find a good vet and know when to call.  None of us without a veterinary degree, regardless of our years of experience, should be dispensing medical advice. With that being said, I do think it can be helpful to share some of the more common medical problems that do seem to crop up in pig herds so that one  can be an asset to your vet when an animal does get sick.
We have had possible Erysipelas pop up once or twice. It is a disease that you
can vaccinate for. The first time was with a pig that suddenly had a fever of
106, was vomiting, off feed and lethargic. After reaching the vet with his symptoms, he responded immediately to Pen G and banamine.
The vets thought it was Erysipelas because of the sudden onset and very high fever.  Erysplysis can cause death, severe sloughing of the skin, heart damage and arthritis. 
It may or may not have the diamond lesions. We had one pig come in
for transport for her spay and on the morning of her surgery, she had a fever was off feed with the classic lesions. Thank goodness she was in quarantine!

Every winter and spring, we have a pig or couple of pigs come down with fevers and go off feed. I immediately call vet and start antibiotics. There have been two lost and necropsies showed both to have pneumonia. Pneumonia is another disease that can be fatal very quickly and needs prompt medical attention.

The older pigs of twelve plus seem to go down with liver cancer, liver
lesions, and kidney failure. We usually opt to take them to the University of Tenn. and have a workup done. If surgery can be a possibility, we try. If they go in and the prognosis is too bad, they are euthanized on the table. We have one 16 year old pig that had a good chunk of her liver removed two years ago and is still living a good quality of life here with her friends.

Less likely but devastating things that have happened here are 2 cases of blocked urethras. In both cases, their bladders burst but they were saved at the University.  One pig had been treated by a local vet for constipation for three days prior and the second pig had just gone off of feed when we rushed him down.  It is a terrible way for a pig to die and if you see your pig straining to urinate, it is a true medical emergency and there is no time to waste.  

One resident pig and one adoptee needed surgical intervention for peach pits that had obstructed their GI tracts. Never allow pigs to eat fruit pits of any kind.
We spay everything so have no problems with uterine tumors.  Some of our pigs that were spayed had malignant tumors of the uterus but are still doing well. We have also assisted in the transport of several older pigs to the University with very large uterine tumors that had successful outcomes.

Two older boars that came in had with testicular cancer. Both of those lived long lives.  The research is irrefutable that if you don’t spay and neuter your pigs, you are not only going to have unintended pregnancies, but premature and totally preventable deaths.

These are just some of the things that have stood out over the years and experiences vary for other facilities. We are fortunate to have some good local vets here that can help with minor problems. Over the years they have become more knowledgeable about pigs and how to handle them.  We are also very fortunate to have such expert care at the University of Tenn. It is a seven hour one way drive for us to make but well worth it as their lives often depend on our willingness to get them the help that they need.
To best assist your vet when you do call with a possible emergency, it is good to be able to tell them your pig’s temperature, heart rate (which I have to get with a stethoscope) and other indicators such as capillary refill and gum color etc…You need to practice some of these things when you and your pig are relaxed and not stressed.
I also love the internet and it can be a great resource for some things
but if you have a serious medical problem with a pig, don’t waste any time on the internet. Call a vet right away and always have the means to transport your pig to them if necessary.  There is nothing worse than watching helplessly as an owner searches for help on the internet when you know their pig is not going to make it unless they get the medical help. The time is now to educate yourself, develop that relationship with your vet, and have a plan in place should the unthinkable happen. Your pig’s life truly does depend on it.


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Forgotten Angels Rescue & Education Center Inc.
1822 Meister Hills Rd
Deer Lodge, Tennessee 37726

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