Rescued “Mini-Pig” Teaches Compassion for Animals
A familiar face is teaching children the importance of adopting the right type of pet for one’s family! Pebbles, aka “Sherlock Hams,” is making his ho-ho-hosting debut at Helen Woodward Animal Center’s annual Frosty Farm event and, for the rescued teacup piglet, the season couldn’t be merrier. The Humane Education Department’s wintertime extravaganza is more festive than ever for animal-lovers of all ages, including photos with Santa and his “mini-horse reindeer,” cookie decorating, winter-themed craft-making, faux snow, face painting, a photo booth and hot chocolate – all guaranteed to create cheerful memories this holiday season. But perhaps the most special memory of all will be seeing Pebbles, the pint-sized piggy go from an underfed fair-attraction to a beloved and inspiring holiday host.
Pebbles, a Vietnamese Pot-Bellied pig, surprised Center adoption staff when he was dropped off in July of this year. A former Del Mar Fair “Swifty Swine Race” participant, the pint sized porker had been purchased by a San Diego woman who had wanted to give her daughter a teacup pig as a present but couldn’t afford the elaborate prices of local breeders. The discounted $200 selling price secured a quick sale with little to no research done on the part of the buyer and in less than 24 hours, the woman was faced with an allergic reaction to her new resident.
“This is why Humane Education is so important to us,” said Education Manager Heather Disher. “We need to be responsible with the orphan pets we take into our homes.”
We welcomed him into our family with patience and lots of love…
Fortunately, the sweet-faced pig immediately stole the heart of Center AniMeals Supervisor Erin Odermatt (who already owned dogs Betty and Barney) and she agreed to take him as her own, naming him Pebbles. “The first day I met Pebbles, he had been through so many transitions in such a short amount of time,” stated Odermatt. “He was afraid and timidly hid in the corner. We welcomed him into our family with patience and lots of love. In return he has shown us what an awesome little guy he really is.”
“We’re so excited to have Pebbles as an ambassador in our Humane Education programs,” stated Disher. “He will definitely add character to this already unique holiday event while also teaching children how similar pigs are to America’s most common household pet, dogs. Frosty Farm will be his ‘grand debut,’ but we have even more meaningful opportunities planned for him to make an appearance in upcoming Critter Camps to tell his happy ending story and teach compassion and respect for all living creatures.”
Frosty Farm is open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through December 21 for only $20 per child and $9 per adult! Due to last year’s increase in the number of kids on the “nice list,” children must be pre-registered for a time slot to meet Santa. In doing so, your family will have minimal wait time for Santa and will be able to fully enjoy all of the Frosty Farm activities.