• Animal Stories

  • Stella, Rooterville’s Inspiration. . .

    Stella the farm pig inspired the start of Rooterville

    Stella was the first factory farm pig that came to Rooterville. She had wandered onto a family’s driveway, emaciated and injured, and collapsed onto the ground. Stella was on the brink of death, but managed to find just the right people to give her a fighting chance.

    The family used what resources they had to get Stella back on her feet, wisely deciding that the home garage was no place to raise a 500-pound animal. In turn, we saw Stella’s pictures and, knowing that there would be few options for her in Florida, we gave her a home at Rooterville.

    We understood right away that Stella was a breeding sow from a commercial operation due to her age, her tags, and her missing tail. (On factory farms, they cut the pig’s tails off to prevent tail biting, a disorder caused by stress in overcrowded pens and premature weaning).

    It appeared that Stella fell from a truck, which seems odd, but in reality, happens more than people think. She had road rash on one side of her body, a deep wound on her shoulder, and injuries to the side of her face, which was paralyzed. She was probably on her way to slaughter after living in a cage not much bigger than the size of her body for the four to five years where she was used to produce piglets. Heartbreaking!

    It was a little frightening at first. A pig is a large and powerful animal and we feared that Stella might injure our pot-bellied pigs that are only a small fraction of her size. However, in pig society, size is not everything and attitude counts. Stella quickly adapted and became at home as part the herd.

    Stella managed to escape a fate that so many do not. She suffered long-term effects of her injuries, but these things never slowed her down. Stella was spirited, energetic, and affectionate to all that knew her.

    In December of 2014, Stella entered the kingdom of heaven. We have created a beautiful garden in her honor. Please visit her garden, have a seat and take a moment to reflect on her legacy.
    Please Give in Stella’s Memory
    Read a Letter from Stella

    Babe and Bongo. . .

    Farm pigs Babe and Bongo were rescued

    Perhaps it was a twist of fate that two large farm pigs broke free from their captor and wandered into a vegetarian’s yard. If it had been another person’s yard, they may have ended up on someone’s dinner table. However, this kind gentleman recognized the value of their precious lives and wanted to ensure that they had the best conditions ahead of them. One call explaining their situation and Rooterville came to the rescue!

    We welcomed Babe and Bongo, who we believe are brother and sister. We were happy to discover that Bongo, the male, was already neutered when he was rescued. However, Babe, the female, had not yet been spayed. Because of her large size, the cost of her spaying operation was a staggering $700. The spaying is now complete and she is living a much more calm and happy life.

    Babe and Bongo love their lives at Rooterville. They spend lots of time together, enjoying lazy days lounging in our cozy shelters. On hot afternoons, they enjoy a quick dip in the mud pond and playing with their friends in the yard. Every day, they get more and more friendly with our staff and soon will come running up to greet everyone that visits the farm. On your next visit, please come to meet them and give them a nice belly rub! Support Babe and Bongo, and Piggy’s Like Them

    Leonidas. . .

    Wanderlust is defined as “the strong desire to travel.” Fortunately for six month old Leonidas, his wanderlust brought him far from home and animal control took him into their custody.

    Animal control agencies typically put lost farm pigs up for public auction where they go to the highest bidder. In most instances, the winner bidder has plans to slaughter them. However, fate was on Leonidas’ side that day, as the highest bidder fell in love and wanted to save the little guy.

    Unfortunately, this wonderful, kindhearted woman couldn’t care for him, and asked Rooterville to give him a permanent home. After hearing his amazing story, we were glad to make him part of our family.

    Upon his arrival, we discovered that he was not neutered. For his health as well as the health of our other pigs, we needed to have him neutered right away. Amazingly, another kind individual stepped in and donated the cost of his neuter operation.

    Leonidas is a sweet, loving baby boy who will come running to greet you. He likes to lounge in the cool shade of our main barn and is very social with all of his animal friends. If you say hello to him, he will follow you around with his tail wagging. His friendly, cute demeanor is infectious, so please plan to visit him soon! Please Support Leonidas and His Pals

    Sal and Sally, Friends for Life!

    Sal Bonanno and hugs his favorite pig Sally at Rooterville

    A grim fate usually awaits a pig when viciously attacked by two dogs. Many veterinarians would have taken one look at this pig’s wounds and said there’s no hope. That was not the case with Dr. Ira Zaslow of Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists. Dr. Zaslow embraced Ms. Sally with open arms and started surgery right away. Through his heroic efforts, he was able to save her from certain death. It was a remarkable story that made the news in Fort Lauderdale.

    With Sally’s deadly dog encounter over, she was successfully nursed back to health. During her recovery, Sal Bonanno was her main caretaker. Every day, he would feed her, take her out for a walk and give her lots of belly rubs and love. The two spent a lot of time together during the month that she was hospitalized and the pair developed an intense bond for each other.

    When Ms. Sally was ready to be released from the hospital, the wonderful staff at Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists reached out to Rooterville on Facebook to see if we could give her a loving home. Fortunately, Rooterville had room for her and one of our staff, Yuri Mitzkewich, picked her up and brought her to her new home over 300 miles.

    After being without her for a few weeks, Sal Bonanno missed Sally terribly. He hopped in the car on his day off and drove over 600 miles round trip to visit her in her new home. When Sally saw her best friend she instantly ran toward him to say a joyful hello. It is heartwarming to see how their bond for each other will last a lifetime. Sal was so moved by his experience with Sally that he has decided to never eat pork again!

    Sal, we’re proud of that decision and we THANK YOU for being a hero! You can be a hero, too!

    Please Support All of Our Pigs

    Thankful for Our Beautiful Turkeys!

    Packed tightly in filthy cages with hundreds of other birds, and stacked to the brim on a truck, these turkeys were headed for slaughter when the vehicle took a highway exit too sharply, causing their cages to be thrown onto the road. Dead and injured turkeys lay everywhere until local animal rescue teams came to the scene and salvaged what lives they could.

    These turkeys were some of the lucky few who survived. Instead of becoming someone’s Thanksgiving meal, they came to Rooterville where they will now live out a long and happy life with plenty of room to roam. Male turkeys love to strut their stuff and show off, entertaining visitors with their crazy sounds and displays. They are fun to watch and always put on a real show! Our lovely female turkey, Tomasina, loves to hang out with her chicken and pig friends.

    Sadly, their rescue did not come in time to save them from the horrible abuse they experienced at the hands of their breeders. Fortunately with exercise and good care, they are now thriving here at Rooterville.

    Please Support These Delightful Birds

    A Tiny Orphaned Piggy’s Date with Destiny. . .

    Herbert almost burned to death

    Herbert, a feral pig was just a five pound baby when he was found wandering around the riding trails of a small, rural Florida town. Most likely abandoned when his mother was shot by a hunter, Herbert was covered with over 200 ticks, riddled with parasites, and completely dehydrated. He was near death.

    However, Herbert’s kind rescuers rushed him to the vet where intense antibiotic and anti-parasitic treatments helped revive this precious little guy.

    That night, a mishap with a hot lamp and a blanket caused a fire that was believed to have killed Herbert. By a miracle, Herbert escaped this second brush with death, and was found the next morning huddled outside, thankfully alive. That’s when his rescuers realized their laundry room was no place for Herbert, and found him a loving home at Rooterville. Now this cute, smart, miracle of a piggy is very happy to live out his life, playing and frolicking with his friends at our safe and loving sanctuary.

    Wouldn’t you like to help animals like Herbert live long and happy lives? Please consider sponsoring Herbert or one of the many animals who have found a loving home at Rooterville.

    Please Support Pigs Just Like Herbert

    Tinsel & Holly, Receive a Gift of Life. . .

    Dairy cows Tinsel and Holly were rescued from early death

    Ripped from their loving mothers when slated for auction at just a few days old, these frightened babies were left for dead on the auction floor when they were deemed too small and weak to sell.

    Rescued by Farm Sanctuary in New York, Tinsel and Holly received the immediate treatment necessary to survive, and ultimately thrive. Arriving at Christmas, Tinsel and Holly are now safe and comfortable in their new home here at Rooterville. Two thousand pound Tinsel loves bananas and having his chin scratched and Holly enjoys being his constant companion. These wonderful animals are living reminders of the cruel fate slated for the babies of dairy cows, who are constantly bred to increase their milk production.

    Please Support Tinsel, Holly and All Their Friends