The day three pigs arrived from medical research, we received a call that a friend of ours had died.
Mitzi Leibst - dedicated her life to the advocacy of animals. She fought against the use of animals in research and we believe she would have been pleased to see these pigs have a home for life and delighted to have a pig named after her.
We named this little pig Mitzi in her honor.
As I write this it has only been a few days since we received three new pigs from medical research. Pigs who have only known a life of imprisonment inside a metal cage in a bleak stark hospital environment. A metal cage that they were only removed from for research on their bodies.
Pigs are used in research because their hearts and lungs are similar to human organs. After a pig is used in an experiment it is killed. These pigs were the lucky ones - they made it out!
When they arrived they were hesitant to come out of the trailer - could they be dreading what would happen here? They had never touched or seen grass, dogs, trees, or pigs in freedom.
I can't describe the gleeful, joyful running and jumping in the air as they tried out their new home running making discoveries.
Two years ago when we received the call to take pigs from medical research we did not hesitate. The information they received from research on Mitzi could never be worth what she endured. Mitzi came to us wary and distant. She transformed into a gentle friend to all.
Unfortunately Mitzi's body was never strong and as she grew her body limited what she could do. She grew with two vertebrae fusing together. The older she got the more difficult it became to get around.
We knew one day Mitzi's spirit would need to be released from her body. This summer that day came, and with gentle care and surrounded by love we said good bye to our dear friend. We are honored to have shared her short time here on earth. The grief we feel is tremendous.
The next time you are approached to donate for a cure for a disease please remember often an animal in research will suffer horrendously with no hope in sight.
Mifzi and the Sanctuary want you to know there are researchers who don't use animals who are making incredible scientific breakthroughs. Let's support them. A list of organizations that do not use animals in research can be obtained from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine at www.pcrm.org