Please visit our new campaign, Emergency Funds Needed For Ruby Ranch
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$2,845 raised
285% of $1k goal
75 contributors
0 days left
Ended Jul 2, 2014
This is the part of running a sanctuary that I hate the most: asking for help. I rarely ask for monetary help, it's even hard for me to ask for physical help. I actually feel guilty when volunteers come and work so hard.  We had to let one of ...

This is the part of running a sanctuary that I hate the most: asking for help. I rarely ask for monetary help, it's even hard for me to ask for physical help. I actually feel guilty when volunteers come and work so hard. 

We had to let one of our big girls go, Deliliah, the queen of the bigpig herd. Last Thurday night she was showing signs of rectal prolapse. She's been not well for months, but no vet could tell us why, and we could only treat her symptoms as best we could. Friday morning our vet came out and told us she had ascites, or fluid in her abdomen, which could be caused by liver disease or a tumor. The pressure from the fluid was what was causing the prolapse. He said there was nothing that could be done. When she stood up, she was ok, but when she would lie down, the pressure would cause the prolapse, and she would sit up like a dog to ease the pressure on her lungs, We made an appointment to have her released from her discomfort, which would eventually become pain. Monday evening we let her go, and it was an experience I never wish to repeat, but with an aging population here, it's likely we will have to. I will never let one of our animals suffer, and I WILL be there with them at the end, each and every time.  

Her vet bills have been building since the summer, and though I don't yet have the bill for the final visit, it's going to be large. The vet had to give her a ton of sedative, she fought, her spirit was no where near ready, but her body had betrayed her. I knew deep down that she would fight, she's always been the most spirited pig. Even in her illness, no other pig was able to take away her crown. 

We have also been working for the last week with a breeder who had to give away all of his pigs due to losing his farm. There were over 30 of them, and we could only help 5. Three of them are here, two of them possibly have a sanctuary to go to. The third is not well. He's unaltered, so will need to be neutered. He also suffers from a prolapsed penis, which is sewn into his body for the time being, but more procedures will likely be neccessary. I could not leave this little one behind. He's one year old and only about 20 pounds, roughly the size of a two month old. His ribs and backbone protrude, his belly is bloated and he has mange. I knew it was going to be expensive to take him on, but I had to take him. He was cold and shivering, cowering in a corner. We also transported two of them yesterday, one to a forever home and one to a foster. 

There is also a little boar being fostered at my neighbor's barn. He was being kept in a crate outdoors when he grew too big to be in someone's house. He'd been in the crate for at least six months. He also needs to be neutered.

When we started the sanctuary, almost six years ago, I thought, I can do this. Both my husband and I had great paying jobs, and I was open-minded, fresh-faced and bushy tailed and I thought more than ready to take on the challenge.

Fast forward six years and I feel like I have aged 20 years. The toll it takes, physically and mentally, is one nobody can prepare for. The great jobs are both a thing of the past. The money goes out as fast as it comes in, and debt is a way of life. There isn't time to just sit and cuddle pigs. There's always something that needs to be done. I am not good at personal relationships, never have been, so I've lost some great supporters just by not being a good friend.

I am a loner, an introvert and a very private person, so although I love sharing the animals with people, it's very draining for me to have visitors.  I'm also often too proud to ask for help. I am deeply grateful for all that do help, but I'm not good at forming the words to say thank-you. 

I don't say too much about how hard this is on social media, I try to only share cute stories and anecdotes. I don't want to tell people how hard it is because I hate to feel like I'm blowing my own horn. We are not as well known as some of the other local sanctuaries because of me, my personality. I cringe when anyone calls me a hero, or a saint, because I am so far from those things. I am just a person who loves all animals. A person who decided to sell a home that I loved in the city to move out to the middle of nowhere, so I could do more. I let my kids down when they needed me most- when they were just transitioning into adulthood, and I will carry that guilt forever.

So now I ask for help. Whether it comes or not, I don't know. but it has to be done.  

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