Pets: Be compassionate

It is heartbreaking how many domestic pigs are abandoned by their families.

  • Feb. 18, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Last year, a woman I have known of for a long time posted a plea on Facebook for help at her sanctuary. There was a lot of work to be done and many of the regular volunteers could not make it.

I thought, why not.

The sanctuary in Mission is called Hearts on Noses. It is a sanctuary for pigs.

It is heartbreaking how many domestic pigs are abandoned by their families.

Potbellied pigs have been a fad for quite some time. Unfortunately, most people who bring these animals into their lives have absolutely no clue what they are getting into.

Pigs are highly intelligent and have the mental capacity of a four-year-old child. They are very social, and require huge amounts of our time. This is not an animal you build a pen for in the corner of your yard and feed once a day. They need company. They need exercise. They need mental stimulation. They want to play, and most of all, they want to be part of the family.

So many people rushed out and got themselves a cute, tiny potbellied pig. They soon realized these animals get quite large, and need to be supervised.

For too many people, this sort of commitment became too overwhelming and many of these wonderful, friendly animals ended up in rescues and sanctuaries.

The recent popularity of “micro” or “mini” pigs has exasperated the problem. I will only say this once: there is no such thing as a micro or a mini pig. The pictures you see from breeders are of babies, who  grow to be 200 to 1,000 pounds.

I went to Hearts on Noses last February and fell in love, with the personalities, the kisses, the snuggles.  Some are mischievous. Some are lovable. Some like to play tricks on you, and some will give you a nudge to remind you how big they are. Every pig is different. There are pigs losing their homes every day in North America.

Many end up going to slaughter.

Needless to say, I go back to Hearts on Noses every week. If you are interested in helping out, donating supplies, or sponsoring one of these amazing creatures, visit their website at


– By Magda Romanow, a volunteer at Katie’s Place, an animal shelter in Maple Ridge.




Just Posted

Maple Ridge man to the rescue twice in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Maple Ridge magnetic hill defies the law of Newton

It is a stretch of road where cars roll uphill instead of down

Driver from 2005 vehicle dragging death in Maple Ridge dies

Grant De Patie killed while working at gas station

Crown drops one Vernon assault charge against Curtis Sagmoen

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will still stand trial on one count of assault causing bodily harm in December.

Start of Maple Ridge B-Line bus service may be delayed

TransLink says new service could start next year, some time

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

B.C., feds accused of ‘environmental racism’ over Site C, Mount Polley

Amnesty International Canada says governments failed to recognize threats to Indigenous peoples

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Two men charged in Lower Mainland grocery store stabbing in 2018

Coquitlam RCMP say the incident is ‘believed to be targeted’

Number of homeless deaths more than doubled in B.C. as opioid crisis set in

New data shows trend between more overdose deaths and the number of people dying in the street

Four people spat on in ‘random, unprovoked’ assaults: Vancouver police

Police ask additional victims to come forward after woman in a wheelchair spat on

Most Read