Snortie came to us in June 2018 having been abandoned all alone in a dirty pen at a piggery in Cape Town. She had been born with splayed leg syndrome, caused by an infection in her mother's womb. If treated immediately she could have started walking but this didn't happen. Things looked very grim for this vulnerable young piglet.
But suddenly it all started to get better. Little Snort was rescued by none other than Toni Brockhoven, CEO of Beauty Without Cruelty. Toni brought her to the sanctuary. Soft, deep straw replaced bare hard earth and the lonely piglet found a new friend, Big Bella Boo, a former pet pig, brought to the sanctuary 3 months previously, almost immobilised by obesity.
This pairing has been an inspiration. Although Bella Boo was rather annoyed with this frisky little piglet at first, they have now become the best of friends. Bella provides a big warm tummy for Snortie to cuddle up to, keeping her warm during the winter months. And Bella has started to walk around their paddock as she slowly loses weight and tries to keep up with her young friend.
Snortie was assessed by a vet and received x rays where some slight compression of four spinal vertebrae was revealed. However, the prognosis for recovery is good, if she can be taught to walk.
We immediately strapped her back legs together with wide, soft elastic to take the strain off her abductors muscles and supported her while she ate.
It's crucial to get Snortie on all four feet as soon as possible, before she gets bigger and heavier. We enlisted her in an intensive course of hydrotherapy which means driving to Somerset West three times a week to Pets in Balance. This would have been prohibitively expensive but Pets in Balance offered to provide all of her therapy for free.
Snort soon started using her previously lifeless back legs to crawl along and she can pick up quite a speed. A big breakthrough came when she was able to stand up to eat.
She's a good traveller and enjoys watching the world go by. Snort loves her therapy and after each session she is rubbed dry, wrapped in a warm towel then driven home, tired and content.
Snort knows she is loved. She is an inspiration to so many. The fact that we give one little pig so much care helps people to understand that these special animals are loving, sentient, emotional beings who deserve to be treated with love and respect.
Recently we have been given a made to measure trolley that may help Snort to walk. We will fit her in it very soon and hopefully she will start to make faster progress.