Maple Farm Animal Sanctuary - Mendon MASS
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Welcome Oliver the Pig!

We are thrilled to introduce the newest member of the MFS family: Oliver the pig!

Oliver is an 8-month-old Yorkshire pig who was born at a local farm. While he would normally have been raised and slaughtered for meat, the farm agreed to give up Oliver because he was the runt of the litter and was very thin and scrawny.

A kind mother and daughter took Oliver in and bottle-fed him since he was still very young. Unfortunately, a local store later recommended that Oliver be fed commercial pig grower grain, a food that causes pigs to gain a large amount of weight in preparation for eventual slaughter.

Oliver quickly outgrew his place in the house and was moved to a comfortable outdoor enclosure. However, he was a smart, curious pig and he soon began getting through his fence and visiting neighbors. Not everyone appreciated his visits, during which he frequently tilled the soil with his nose and munched on carefully planted flowers.

When Oliver reached about 300 pounds, his family realized that they needed to find a safe forever home for him. Most people they contacted only wanted to take Oliver so that they could slaughter him for meat. One group also told the family that no one would adopt a pig of Oliver’s size and recommended that they “humanely slaughter” him.

Fortunately, the family made one last try and called MFS. While MFS was nearly at full capacity, the call seemed like fate. We had recently lost our much-loved Yorkshire pig Jonathan and realized we had the perfect home to offer Oliver. While still grieving for Jonathan, MFS founders Cheri and Jim also knew that they had love to offer to another pig.

“We missed the gentle grunts of a pig as he slept. We missed seeing a big pig enjoying a sun bath or a mud bath,” says Cheri. “We said we’d take Oliver and immediately began making plans, including preparing Jonathan’s old ‘bedroom’ for a new resident.”

Oliver arrived at MFS on the evening of February 22. While Oliver’s family was sad to leave him, they knew that they made the right decision to bring him to MFS.

As Cheri notes, “Oliver quickly settled in and began checking out his surroundings and the other animals. He was clearly excited and occasionally ran up to the face of a goat like a puppy with a new toy. He was particularly enamored with Vanilla the cow!”

While we are so happy to offer Oliver a peaceful forever home, his story reminds us of the many other pigs who still need our help.

“Oliver is one among millions of ‘feeder pigs” who will be allowed to have a life. He is one among millions who will never be hit, kicked, forced into a trailer and finally slaughtered at a young age,” says Cheri. “Please look at Oliver’s pictures and share his story so that perhaps someday the farmers who work so hard to provide us with food will stop farming animals and will instead grow plants for the animals, for our health, for the planet.”

The Top Five MFS News Articles of 2018

MFS works hard to keep our supporters informed about happenings at the sanctuary through our monthly e-newsletter, the Non-Dairy Digest. Each issue contains updates on our latest rescues, tips on compassionate living, and lots of adorable animal photos (If you haven’t subscribed, sign up today).

Here are the five Non-Dairy Digest articles that our supporters loved best in 2018:

Favorite Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes from MFS

We’re not at all surprised that an article on delicious vegan food topped our most-read list for 2018. Vegans love food, and Thanksgiving time is no exception! We’d like to extend a big thank you to all our volunteers who shared their favorite Thanksgiving recipes with the MFS community for this story.

Behind the Scenes: Volunteer Spotlight, Part 2

MFS volunteers also told readers about their special bonds with our animal residents in this second article in a two-part series. Check out Part 1 for even more heartwarming stories and photos.

MFS Rescued Sheep Tara Anna Featured on the Dodo!

We were thrilled that our beloved sheep Tara Anna was featured in a moving video from the Dodo, and obviously our supporters were too! The video—which highlights a bond between Tara Anna and a special young MFS supporter—is worth a second (or first) watch, so we encourage you to tune in.

MFS Rescues Neglected Alpaca

Supporters were as excited as we were when MFS welcomed our very first alpaca, Winslow, in July of 2018. Winslow had previously watched five of his companions pass away from neglect, but MFS soon gave him a new friend when we rescued our second alpaca, Merlin.

MFS Takes in Two New Potbellied Pigs

Another animal rescue story also cracked our most-read list: an article about Jack and Harriet, two potbellied pigs who came to live at MFS in June 2018. The duo were soon joined by rescued pig Chester, and all three are now inseparable.

Welcome Spanky and Brady

MFS has added two more animals to our herd: goats Spanky and Brady!

Spanky (above left) and Brady (above right) are Nigerian Pygmy cross goats who were being raised by a breeder to be sold for meat. A woman happened to see them shortly after they were put up for sale at just one year of age each. The two goats were clearly terrified as they stood together in a tiny cage, and the woman just knew she could not go home without them.

The woman later contacted MFS, and we were happy to offer the goats a home in December 2018. When they arrived, we could tell that they had not been fed properly, and we immediately provided them nutritious food, gave them their vaccinations, and—because they are both males—had them neutered.

Both Spanky and Brady are quite shy because they have not received much attention from people or other animals, but we are confident they will come out of their shells once they get to know MFS volunteers and the many animals in our big goat barn. At just a little over one years old each, they are also the youngest animals at MFS, which means we will be able to provide them with a safe and loving home for many more years to come!

Above: Brady

Above: Spanky