S.C. animal sanctuary seeking ‘piggy cuddlers’

Updated: Jan. 30, 2020 at 8:19 PM EST
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BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, S.C. (WIS) - An animal farm and sanctuary in Batesburg-Leesville is gaining national attention after it posted an ad on social media seeking “piggy cuddlers” to help socialize 100 rescue pigs.

Cotton Branch Farm Sanctuary is home to a wide variety of rescue animals including donkeys, horses, cows, goats, ducks, and turkeys. But it’s the farm’s sea of pigs that’s getting the most attention.

The pigs were rescued after Kentucky officials found them at the home of a hoarder. According to Joshua Carpenter Costner, the farm’s director of operations, there were more than 500 pigs discovered malnourished and neglected on a small piece of private land.

“We thought maybe we can help and save 30 or 40,” Carpenter Costner said.

If the pigs weren’t rescued and removed from the property within three weeks, they would be euthanized. After a fundraising effort, Cotton Branch Farm was able to bring 225 pigs back to South Carolina to be socialized and adopted.

In the last year, the farm has adopted 75 of the rescued pigs. It still has about 100 it is looking to adopt but needs “piggy cuddlers” to help get the job done.

“A lot of the pigs, since they were in such large numbers where they came from, they were not socialized. So, we were trying to think of a way because the more time we spent with them the more social they would become,” Carpenter Costner said.

So, the farm is asking volunteers to sign up for shifts in which they can socialize with the pigs, give them belly rubs, and feed them treats.

That request has been fulfilled as the farm said people from all over the world have called, emailed, and messaged trying to learn more.

“We had one person call from New York City to find out where the nearest airport was to fly in to,” he said. “We’ve been getting emails and phone calls from people in Canada, Germany, U.K., people all around the U.S. Our phones, emails, and social media messages have just been blowing up.”

The farm is the permanent home of several pigs deemed “senior citizens” and those with special needs.

If you’re interested in volunteering or becoming a “piggy cuddler”, click here.

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