A runaway pig that escaped the slaughterhouse is finally enjoying life after a kind-hearted rescuer bought him at auction.
Toby, a podgy livestock pig, is believed to have fled a farm where he would have been destined for the butcher’s block.
The one-year-old swine was later picked up by traffic cops after being chased onto the I-40 highway in Hillsborough, North Carolina, by a pit bull.
When animal control officers arrived at the scene on June 19, they found Toby with severe bite wounds on his legs, neck and torso but the dog had fled into nearby forest.
The pig was severely overheated and officers from Orange County Animal Services believe he had “run for miles” in over 100 degree heat to escape his attacker.
Toby, who weighs 500lbs, was hoisted into a paddling pool in the back of a horse trailer to cool down as he was transported to a shelter in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
There vets hosed Toby down with water until his temperature regulated and sutured the deep wounds on his backside and front legs from the attack.
Vets believed that Toby had escaped a pig farm because he was neutered which helps improve the taste of pork for consumption.
Although Toby was finally getting the care he needed, North Carolina law states that shelters must place livestock animals up for auction after ten days.
Orange County Animal control Manager Irene Phipps said Toby might have ended up right back where he started – on another pig farm destined for slaughter.
Irene said: “The highway patrol communicated with us about a pig who had been chased onto the I-40 by what witnesses as a pit bull.
“Unfortunately the dog had fled before we arrived at the scene and he was never captured.
“The officers were forced to close all but two lanes of traffic to treat this pig.
“Toby was extremely over-heated, which indicated to us that he had probably been running in the heat for miles.
“We got him into a pool in the horse trailer to try and cool him down which was our primary concern.
“We then sprayed him with a hose to get his temperature back to normal.
“Our vets could then get a good look at his wounds, which were on his backside and his legs.
“We sutured him up and cleaned his bites, before treating him with medication.”
In North Carolina, shelters are obliged to place pigs up for auction after 10 days if they are unclaimed and the animal is in a comfortable position.
Luckily, the founders of Blind Spot Animal Shelter in Rougemont turned up on July 5 to bid for Toby, intent on bringing him home to their 41-acre rescue farm.
Alesja Daehnrich, 36, and her husband Alex, 47, were successful and the pig has been recovering in luxury from his ordeal ever since.
Executive assistant Alesja said: “Toby’s such a sweetheart. He’s really improved after some strong antibiotics and pain medication.
“Even though he’s technically on bed rest he loves following us around.
“He loves throwing himself in the little paddling pool we have for him.
“He’s made a good friend in a female pig we have called Baby, who we rescued after she fell off a truck.”
Irene said although everyone was sad to see Toby leave the shelter, they were thrilled to see him destined for a life of relaxation on the farm.
Irene said: “Luckily, the guys from Blind Spot Animal Shelter turned up to bid on Toby.
“This makes us so happy because everyone fell in love with him while he was here.
“He’s had such a hard life, it’s about time he enjoyed some well-deserved happiness.”
For more information visit: http://blindspotanimals.com