Ferdinand is one of our newest residents here at Tamerlaine. At just a year old, he had already gone through several homes before finding his way to us and his new forever home. A family in suburban New Jersey bought Ferdinand as a baby from a breeder advertising "teacup" pigs as house pets. Just a few days later, the family dumped him on an acquaintance, possibly after realizing that even a tiny pig in a house can get up to a lot of mischief! The woman he was dumped on took care of him for a year, but when her neighbors started construction on their home, Ferdinand squealed and squealed, annoying the whole neighborhood. Kind activists set out to find Ferdinand a home where he could freely be a pig and do pig things and we readily welcomed him to Tamerlaine. Ferdinand's story shows that even when pigs actually do stay small, they still typically aren't well-suited for a suburban or urban environment. Small pigs can live to be 20 years old, though they are prone to the same health issues as teacup dogs. Help us provide Ferdinand with the best quality care so we can ensure he lives a long and healthy life!
We rescued Toad in September 2015 when he was just four weeks old. He would have been slaughtered as part of a religious "sacrifice" just days later had kind rescuers not saved her from the streets of Brooklyn. Toad is a Cornish Cross chicken, the main breed raised for their flesh and typically slaughtered at just 42 days of age. These birds have been bred to grow so large so fast that their muscles have trouble keeping up, a condition made worse through confinement in crates. This was the case with Toad. Though his bones are normal and aligned, his right leg has significantly more muscle than his left, which is severely atrophied. He came to us unable to walk and barely able to stand for more than a few seconds. In a case like Toad's, unfortunately many rescue organizations would choose to euthanize him, believing he would not be able to recover and live a full life. Here at Tamerlaine, we have a staff dedicated to giving their all to each and every animal who comes our way. We were confident we would be able to give Toad a life worth living, whether he walked or had a wheelchair. After just a few weeks of daily physical therapy, time in a sling, and medication, Toad is up and walking with a limp. Through continued care he will be fully mobile, and is able to be with a full flock.
Tara, oh Tara, where to begin! Tara was rescued in October 2014 from religious "sacrificial" slaughter. She was a cuddly baby and began to show signs of vision issues in the winter. She is now largely blind, able to navigate her surroundings but with definite depth perception issues. She loves to cuddle with other birds and nap next to humans. She has also been known to charge dogs! When Tara is very content, she purrs like a cat.
Photo: Belinda getting a medicated soak to help with foot problems related to his mobility issues.
Belinda is the protector of our largest chicken flock. He was rescued as a baby from religious "sacrificial" slaughter in October 2014. Like other birds bred to grow large quickly so they can be slaughtered young, Belinda's body developed too fast for his legs and he has a permanent hop to his walk as a result. An unconventional gait does not slow Bel down, as he can be found hop-walking around the perimeter of his yard each night, making sure no stragglers remain outside at bedtime. The Tamerlaine staff must keep a careful watch on him to make sure he remains at a healthy weight and his mobility issues do not become severe.
Sid Vicious is one of 19 birds we rescued as tiny chicks from a school chick hatching project at the start of 2015. After the initial expenses of vetting the new arrivals and purchasing two new coops, we are prepared for these cuties to eat several hundred pounds of food over their lifetimes. Sid has been a favorite here at Tamerlaine: A natural snuggler with humans who avoided all other birds out of fear, Sid has finally found his place in the flock with one of our original roosters, Jupiter!
Pippa was featured at our local county fair, where she won first place. Yet, her only prize for being the most “exceptional” lamb at the fair was to be sent to slaughter. Thankfully for Pippa, Tamerlaine negotiated her release. We are now raising money to build a barn for Pippa and her friends, so she can live out the rest of her life at our sanctuary.
Clara is a five-year-old who came from a classic hoarding situation. A woman who clearly loves other animals and wanted to give them a good home took on too many for her to provide appropriate care for. After losing her husband, the conditions for some of the animals became worse. In the case of most hoarding situations, the hoarding behavior is a symptom of mental illness and the hoarder becomes overwhelmed but does not realize the harm they are causing. With pigs in particular, many people take them on without proper understanding of pig behavior and panic when the pig begins to become more assertive. When Clara began to show signs of aggression, her overwhelmed caretaker confined her to a large bathroom, where she lived 24/7 for at least a year. Finally, she reached out to us and we agreed to take Clara to Tamerlaine. Today, she lives happily at the sanctuary, where we have treated her reproductive system issues through spaying and her overgrown hooves through appropriate monthly maintenance.
Artie was rescued as a baby by a pot-bellied pig organization. He was then adopted by a couple in Brooklyn who took good care of him and he lived in their brownstone with a large backyard for two years. Yet, the suburban environment was still not ideal for a pig and he needed more space and other pig friends. He found his way to Tamerlaine in April 2015 and now is best buds with rescued pig Clara. He remains a lap pig, even at 250 pounds!