September 24th, 2012
Honey, a two-month-old piglet, was found alone on a levee surrounded by Hurricane Isaac’s floodwater in Plaquemines Parish. Lori Wilson, in conjunction with the local animal control, brought him back to Rescue Ranch, her equine sanctuary and rescue group, where RedRover Responders volunteers were stationed to help care for equines affected by flooding.
|RedRover Responders volunteer Howard feeds Honey the piglet, and so begins a special relationship.|
Howard Edelstein, a RedRover Responders volunteer who was part of the team helping Rescue Ranch, took an immediate liking to Honey. “He’s a cute guy,” said Howard. “He was there in a cage, so little and cute. I enjoyed the opportunity to give him more attention.”
Once, when Howard was holding Honey, he grew so relaxed in his arms that he fell asleep…and then pooped.
|Howard and a deeply relaxed Honey, just before he pooped on Howard.|
Lori’s plans were to try to find Honey a new home, but there weren’t any true pig sanctuaries nearby. So Howard and his girlfriend back home coordinated with Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, Maryland. Howard has been volunteering with Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary for some time, and knew that the pigs have a large area at the sanctuary with a stream and pond, and get wonderful care. He was delighted when he learned that they would take Honey.
As much as Howard didn’t relish the idea of renting a car and driving 18 hours with Honey, it didn’t take him long to decide that a permanent home for Honey was worth it. He started driving at 2:30 in the morning so he could get as much of the drive done as possible while it was dark and quiet out. Honey snuggled in his carrier with his bedding, and every couple hours Howard would pull over and give him refreshments, clean out his carrier and let him stretch.
|Honey stayed comfortable and happy on his 18 hour trek to his new, permanent home.|
All along the way, Howard and his amenable swine companion entertained themselves with comedy, Broadway show tunes and 60’s and 70’s classic rock from the Sirius radio, and Howard talked to Honey about all sorts of topics. Once in a while, Honey would even grunt back. It took two Red Bulls, a Mountain Dew and a Gatorade to make it all the way.
Since arriving at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, Honey has since been renamed Isaac. He has also taken yet another road trip – this time, it was a six-hour round trip to and from a veterinary hospital to get neutered, a procedure from which he has recovered quickly.
Isaac, the piglet formerly known as Honey, enjoys his plush new digs at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary.
Photo credit: Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary
Howard went to visit him last Thursday, and was glad to share that Isaac is already getting bigger, but he’s still looking really cute.
“Now he’s going to have a fabulous life,” says Howard. “The hurricane was so awful for so many animals. While volunteering at Rescue Ranch, we saw horses with chemical burns from flood water and other sad sights. But for Isaac, the hurricane meant that he will get to live his life as one of the luckiest pigs around.”
Howard went above and beyond in his service to RedRover and to Isaac the piglet, and for that, we all give some grateful grunts.
Another victim of the storm, a special dog named JJ, is undergoing extensive care after suffering serious burn wounds.