Help the pigs
Sophia Story

By Roger Hotelling

Sophia came to be a sanctuary member through a very unique set of circumstances!

Tom and I are neighbors, living on a small lake near Snohomish, Washington. One afternoon while working in the yard, Tom saw some commotion out on the water. Thinking it was one of the local beavers, he took a look through his binoculars and it wasn't a beaver at all. In fact, what he saw were a couple of little ears sticking up out of the water and a snout, all heading for his beach!

A few minutes later, out of the water came Sophia, and the chase was on! Tom called me, thinking I might know something about pigs. Nope, I don't know anything, but was game to help rescue the little fellow (they didn't know the little fellow was a little girl at the time). In fact, I was doubting Tom's claim that a pig had just emerged from the lake. Catching a very confused and afraid pig can be very, very time consuming! It took four adults (Tom and his wife Shari, me and my wife Sue, none of whom knew anything about pigs at the time) about 4 hours to finally get Sophia into a large crate.

The whole evolution involved stopping traffic on local roads while Sophia trotted down the center line, trying to corner her in yards, flower beds, driveways and undeveloped areas. Coaxing a wily pig into a kennel with a little dog kibble (who has real pig food handy?) is much harder than it sounds!

Tom and I became amateur "Pig Whisperers" that afternoon, although it didn't really assist in getting Sophia any closer to captivity. Sometimes she seemed to know what was being whispered though. To make a 4 hour story shorter, Sophia finally found an overnight home in a large dog crate with some fresh hay and a suitable dinner. Meanwhile, Tom and I searched the area for Sophia's owners. Not knowing what kind of pig Sophia is, was kind of a handicap. We didn't know whether she was a family pet, a full grown pig, a pot bellied pig, or a farm pig. No owners could be found. A local animal rescue shelter knew little about pigs as well, and recommended getting in touch with Judy at Pig's Peace Sanctuary. Sophia took a ride the next morning to meet Judy at Pig's Peace. With one look into the crate, she knew that Sophia is a Hampshire farm pig… and a baby to boot! She was about 6 weeks old then, and had apparently been out searching for her litter-mates! She is one determined little girl too, as she swam more than a quarter mile across the lake the previous afternoon! Tom and I located a neighbor on the lake that had seen Sophia cross his property and head down towards the water, so we knew where she went in the lake, and where she finally came out.

Everyone involved is thankful that Sophia has finally found a permanent place to live where she can be with good friends and live the life of a truly happy pig.

Sophia explores her new digs

Sophia and Baily
Baily the blind pig shows Sophia around

Meet Baily Meet Sophia Update on Sophia & Baily