|Photo courtesy of Dawn Blackburn.|
An animal is surrendered to a shelter. This animal has a loving home to return to. The animal is being held in quarantine for 30 days, then will be evaluated for adoption. Again, this animal has a loving home waiting, with a woman who WANTS to care for him. A woman who knows his needs better than the organization currently in possession of him. An organization that admitted to her to not being able to properly care for this animal before transferring him to Longmeadow Rescue Ranch. An organization that stated that it did not have room for this animal at the ranch due to a wait list. Yet, he’s being held alone, in a strange place, when he could be at home in familiar surroundings being cared for by people who love him.
Why? Because this animal is a pig, Randy, who was surrendered to the Humane Society of Missouri by his owner, who had taken him there in a panic when faced with eviction, rather than return him to the woman whom he had contractually agreed to return him if he was unable to keep him. Randy’s micro chip led the HSMO to contact her when he was surrendered to them. When she stated her relationship to Randy she was refused. The HSMO refuses to release Randy to Dawn Blackburn because she is a breeder. A responsible, reputable breeder of Juliana pigs. Dawn has two pigs she breeds once or twice a year in order not to over-breed them and cause them harm. Her pigs are not tools abused for income. They are well cared for members of her family.
|Photo of Randy courtesy of Dawn Blackburn.|
Though Dawn has a legal contract stating Randy is to be returned to her if his owners were unable to care for him, she has been denied. Because they don’t deal with breeders. When Dawn asked to see their policy, The HSMO refused to provide proof of their policy not to deal with breeders.
The animals at Longmeadow Rescue Ranch are well cared for. The concern about Randy is that he is being treated as livestock. Randy has been raised and trained as a family pet, not conditioned to the life of a livestock animal. But, because it is their policy to not deal with breeders, Randy is left in limbo.
How do we help animals like Randy who have fallen victim to the unfortunate bad reputations of breeders, whether the breeder is good or bad? I’ve dealt with puppy millers and witnessed the horrors of puppy mills first hand. I know how awful disreputable breeders are.
I have also dealt with reputable, responsible breeders who love their animals and only want the best for them. Breeders who care about the good of the breed as well as the individual animal. Unfortunately, because of the bad, the good suffer. Is it Randy’s fault that because of the bad, he is homeless?
I understand the policy of not dealing with breeders, but also understand that, though Dawn Blackburn is a breeder, she has stated she will never re-sell a pig and would not re-sell Randy. He will be given a loving home with her or with family knowledgeable about caring for a pig, that she is confident can give Randy a great home.
My purpose with this post is to share Randy’s story, not to disparage the HSMO, or choose sides, but to be another voice for Randy.
To learn more about Randy and the mission to bring him home, and ways you can help, visit the Facebook page Bring Randy the Pig Home.
Join the discussion on social media with the hashtag #bringRandythePigHome.