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

Money in to finish Lougheed Highway twinning

Feds announce $29 million to complete four laning of four-kilometre stretch in Maple Ridge

Campers expect 100 per cent online reservations at Golden Ears next season

Maple Ridge group has been fighting to keep drive in bookings

Maple Ridge council will be asked to declare climate emergency

Vancouver, London and Los Angeles have already done so

Pitt Meadows seeks partners in flood protection

$100 million in work needed to improve dike system

Maple Ridge senior facing homelessness at the end of the month

Jean Ticehurst can’t find affordable housing

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Injured fawn at B.C. vet will be euthanized Friday night unless claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer is currently being treated at West Kelowna’s Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read