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Meet Our

Animal Ambassadors

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Most of the animals who come to Happy Tails have a past filled with abuse, neglect, or abandonment, or all three. However, very few have a story worse than that of Henry.

 

Henry was used as a breeding boar from a backyard breeder. These breeding operations fill the demand of unsuspecting people who have jumped on the ‘mini pig’ bandwagon. Sadly, animals who are bread for profit can find themselves in dire situations.

 

Henry, along with this father Papa and his brother Davy, were kept in a barn full of other animals. We can tell from his fear of humans that he was never socialized and was not treated with kindness.  When the people renting the property moved, they left the barn full of animals, including Henry and his family. Sadly, his mother passed away as did many other animals, but Henry, Papa and Davy were rescued in time. All three came to live at Happy Tails.

 

In the several years that Henry has been with us, he has slowly learned to trust again. And although he does not flop over for a belly rub, he will allow us to touch him and feed him from our hands. Henry is a sweet and curious boy, who absolutely loves watermelon and apples. He and his brother and father remain very close.

HENRY

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Lola is a bold and friendly kitty, who loves to cuddle. She refuses to be a fat house cat however and prefers to live in the barn. But don’t worry, there is a furnished loft in the barn where Lola hangs her proverbial hat.

 

Lola was given to us from our local feed store. We had gone in to get supplies one day and noticed four kittens in a birdcage. There were three boys and a girl. All the boys had barns to go to, but no one wanted Lola. You see, generally barn cats are not spayed or neutered, and because female cats have so many kittens they are often passed over.

 

It was obvious that sweet Lola hadn’t had much positive human interaction and that she had been taken from her mom way too early.  I figured I’d at least take her out and give her a little bit of love. The thing was, once I picked Lola up, she was not going to let go. After petting her for a while I tried to get her off of me, but her nails were clinging tight. So I did the only thing I could – I brought her home with me!

 

Lola clung to the back of my neck under my hair until we got home and did not let go for quite some time after that. It was apparent that Lola picked me, and we were happy to have her join our feline family.

LOLA

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Mia’s beginning is like millions of other potbelly pigs. She was purchased as a baby and in time grew into a big girl! She had some bad manners and wasn’t keen on rules. Unfortunately, her caregivers did not do their research and Mia grew much larger than expected.  Further they were unaware of the bylaw restricting potbelly pigs within their city limits. As such, her family was reaching out to find a home for her.

 

At just 12 weeks old she was a tiny, feisty ball of adorableness. She had quite the attitude, and we certainly wouldn’t hesitate to call her a diva! She knew what she wanted, and what she didn’t want, and would sometimes bite or chase to prove her point.

 

This sweet little porcine is now a year and a half old and with proper training has calmed down substantially! She absolutely loves running out in the meadows and rooting up the soil. She has become great friends with Delilah and no longer has a dominant personality.  She’s very social and loves to be with her farm friends.

 

The one thing that really stands out with Mia is her smell. It is distinctive and very sweet smelling, almost like maple syrup. Some people think that pigs stink, but on the contrary some of them smell quite pleasant. Like a little Mia.

MIA

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Mr. Fritz, also know as Frazzled Fritz, is a dashing fellow who was dropped off to us after experiencing trauma and stress in his backyard chicken coop. One of several show girl silkies, Mr. Fritz looked to be on his last legs when he arrived.

 

This distinguished rooster has a best friend named Hendrix, and they arrived together. The details of Mr. Fritz’s past are murky, but at least we know that his future is bright!

 

Mr. Fritz is curious and gentle and both he and Hendrix are extremely friendly. At just a few pounds in weight Fritz can crow like the best of them! These little roosters do not fly or roost like other chickens, preferring to snuggle in a nice straw bed.

 

Frazzled Fritz is not as hardy as some of our other birds and will spend winter inside the barn,  moving back outside to the aviary come Spring. He and his best buddy Hendrix share a stall with two pigs named Anna and Pippen.

MR. FRITZ

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Peggy is a bright, friendly senior pig who loves children but prefers to stay out of the limelight.

 

Sadly, we don’t know much about Peg’s past. She was a resident at Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre for a few years until they had a barn fire. Peggy was burned in the fire and her barn was destroyed. Peg’s came to rehab with us and she fit in so well that she never left!

 

Peggy is a senior girl, about 13 or 14 years old. She prefers to live on her own, never quite fitting in to any of our pig herds. We lovingly refer to Peggy and her senior friend Anna as ‘the Golden Girls’. Peggy loves melon and leafy greens and has never turned down an apple!

 

Although Peggy is getting up there in years, she is spry when dinner is being served! We don’t know how much time we will have left with the pretty porcine, but we can guarantee that the rest of her life will be the best of her life.

PEGGY

We call Peter the Little Lamb that could.

 

Peter was born on a local sheep farm along with hundreds of other lambs. But Peter was different. This little lamb was born with a disability; he only had three legs! But as it turned out this disability saved his life.

 

Due to changes in regulations, animals like Peter can no longer be bought or sold into the food industry. As such, Peter’s life had no value. There were two alternatives – to either kill Peter straight out or sell him for Halal meat. Fortunately, the farmer did neither of these things, and chose a third option by allowing Peter to come to Happy Tails!

 

As we wanted Peter to have as much as a normal life as possible, we worked with a local company to produce a custom-made prosthetic leg.  After some time and practice, Peter can now run and jump and get around like all the other lambs! And while all the “normal” lambs born are now gone, sweet Peter will live out the rest of his life here at the sanctuary. Being born different saved Peter’s a little life.

PETER

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Ruby is one of three pigs that came to us after they were rescued from slaughter. She is bright and curious and really loves to eat! Lounging in the sunshine with Rosie and Oscar takes up a lot of her time!

 

Ruby is a tough girl with a tough past. The amazing thing about animals is that they don’t let their pasts define them- they move on.

 

Ruby has the prettiest face. When you look into her eyes it’s easy to get lost. She is quickly gaining weight and we think that she may get to be about 800 pounds!

 

When she and her friends Rosie and Oscar came to the sanctuary, they were extremely food dominated because they’d been starved. They did not know kindness and were very difficult to manage. It’s been a year now, and they have calmed down significantly. They know that their next meal will come, and they don’t need to fight for it. It’s amazing to know that Ruby now trusts us, and is happy and comfortable in her home

RUBY

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I don’t think that there’s a cat on this earth sweeter than Sapphire. Sapphire’s been with us for a year and a half now. She was brought to us by a concerned citizen who had seen her running free on the streets for several months. She had noticed that Sapphire had an odd gait, and a limp, and was worried about her.

 

Sapphire was very frightened when she first came, which we would expect. What we didn’t expect was the fact that she had a broken pelvis, an eye infection and was severely constipated and impacted due to the pain she was in. We immediately took her to the veterinarian and started on her treatment plan. It was devastating to know that she had been suffering alone for so long.

 

Sapphire quickly formed a very strong connection to our daughter Mary. An extremely loving cat, she mother’s all of the other cats in our home. Sapphire is an indoor cat, and will never venture outdoors again, except of course in her carrier to the veterinarian. Her pelvis has healed and although she still has a bit of an awkward gait, the veterinarians believe she is pain-free for now. She will likely suffer from arthritis later in life.

SAPPHIRE

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Spike is one of two alpacas that came to us from another sanctuary when they retired. These boys are approximately 15 years old and are calm and curious creatures.

 

He is a gentle fellow and enjoys spending leisurely afternoons in the meadows during the nice weather. He’s not afraid of a little precipitation and has been observed several times standing still in the rain with a kooky grin!

 

When Spike is really happy, he rolls around on his back in the dirt with all four of his legs in the air!

 

Spike came from an alpaca farm but because his fleece was not grade A, he lost his value to the farmer. We don’t know exactly how or when, but he ended up at Constance Creek Wildlife Refuge several years ago before coming to us. Spike and his buddy Thunder are a dynamic duo for sure, and are much loved by many, especially you Olivia!

SPIKE

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Mr. Sylvester holds a special place in our hearts and at the sanctuary, and he knows it! He was the very first piggy to grace Happy Tails Farm Sanctuary, followed by Franklin and Pippen.

 

Sylvester came to us at just eight months old and in his short eight months we were his fourth home. The home he was in before us loved him, but they were not prepared for him. They had taken him from the home before them because they were worried about his safety and care.

 

He was the most adorable piglet, pure black with a stripe of white on his forehead. He was social and friendly, and although he had been passed around a lot, it’s clear that he did receive love and care from his home before us. But like many people who take on potbelly pigs, they were not prepared for his boisterous personality! Sylvester was listed for free on the Internet and it was a fluke that we saw the listing.

 

Training was not something that Sylvester knew, so we had some work to do with him. But with training comes bonding, and we have an incredible connection now. Although sometimes quite vocal in his protests, he is highly intelligent and knows exactly what is expected of him. He is well behaved with his humans and is an alpha among his peers. Sylvester is our largest pig at 280 pounds!

SYLVESTER

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‘Big is beautiful’ is an understatement when it comes to Thomas the Pig, which is ironic because he was deemed the runt of the litter. Thomas has been living at Happy Tails for approximately 3 1/2 years and he’s about four years old.

 

One of 10 piglets kept indoors in a concrete stall, Thomas was the least aggressive of his siblings. He likely received much less food than his pushy brothers and sisters, stunting his growth and making him appear as a runt.

 

Just like Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web, Thomas wasn’t worth much to the farmer due to his runt status. But just like a story book plot a very kindhearted citizen stepped in to save Tom’s life and send him to Sanctuary!

 

Once Thomas settled in, he began to grow. And grow and grow and grow. And now our gentle giant is about 1000 pounds! It just goes to show what a little kindness and compassion, good food and shelter, and space to play can do.

THOMAS

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Thunder is one of two alpacas that came to us from another sanctuary when they retired. These boys are approximately 15 years old and are calm and curious creatures.

 

He is a gentle fellow and enjoys spending leisurely afternoons in the meadows during the nice weather. He’s not afraid of a little precipitation and has been observed several times standing still in the rain with a kooky grin!

 

When Thunder is really happy, he gallops in the most awkward way possible, his long legs bending and bouncing.

 

Thunder came from an alpaca farm but because his fleece was not grade A, he lost his value to the farmer. We don’t know exactly how or when, but he ended up at Constance Creek Wildlife Refuge several years ago before coming to us. Thunder and his buddy Spike are a dynamic duo for sure and are much loved by many! They are goofy and silly and strangely like to wrap themselves up in kiddie pools in the summer.  We have no idea how they can fit!

THUNDER

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Willow and her brother Clover were a wonderful surprise. After losing our beloved Stella we never thought we would have the opportunity to save another commercial turkey so soon, let alone two!

 

Sadly, these beautiful birds were bred to become Thanksgiving dinner.  Thanks to some luck and kindness their lives were saved when our local feed store gave them to us. Their rescue happened during our first week of summer camp at Happy Tails and the children were excited and delighted to learn about these beautiful birds and how to care for them.

 

Willow is a very social girl and spends most of her time with her brother eating bugs and scratching in the dirt. She loves to follow around her humans and chatters at them making the sweetest noises. She is gentle and sweet, just like our Stella was. Willow greets everyone who comes onto the property and tilts her head to the side to get a good look!

 

Willow and her brother live in their very own house during the night and spend their days free ranging with us. Although the same breed, these siblings have distinctly different personalities

WILLOW