In November 2010, our future star found his home with Kristin Hartness!
This 25-pound little pig would grow to become Ziggy the Traveling Piggy, and someday be loved by thousands. And moreover, this little pig would eventually grow to be 225 more pounds than anticipated!
Kristin learned many things early on in Ziggy's life. Lesson number one?
Teacup pigs, aka mini pigs, are NOT real.
Piggy in paradise
Ziggy, the 300-pound, beach-loving "mini" pig, inspires thousands to pursue a more compassionate lifestyle.
Our story begins in the US Virgin Islands!
Beach Life with Ziggy was Paradise!
Kristin met Jay shortly after getting Ziggy, however, there was a problem: Ziggy kept growing, and growing!
Kristin and Jay learned the hard way that "mini pigs" are just a marketing scheme created by breeders, taking advantage of people's natural attraction toward small, cute animals. In reality, unless they are underfed (another technique used to keep pigs "mini" sized), these pet pigs will nearly always grow to be at least 50-150lbs by the time they are fully grown, which may not be until they are around three years old. It's not unusual for a "teacup" pig to end up reaching almost 300 like our sweet Ziggy did!
This misinformation leaves thousands of pigs homeless every year...
The people who purchase mini pigs are not prepared to care for a 100+ pound animal. Ziggy is one of the few lucky "mini" pigs that got placed with someone dedicated enough to root up their entire lives just to keep him.
Kristin used her life's savings to fly Ziggy from the Virgin Islands to their new home -- something a little less lavish but much more exciting -- a large RV!
During their explorations around the country, Kristin learned the second major lesson that would later be the driving force behind the creation of Ziggy's Refuge.
People from all over would meet this happy
and outgoing piggy and stop eating bacon!
Kristin used her life savings to fly Ziggy from the Virgin Islands to their new home...
Ziggy's is now home to a mighty team dedicated to saving farm animals from the fate of being pieces of meat on a fork or otherwise disposed of because of their disabilities.
Kristin, Ziggy, and Jay Yontz began working full-time to spread the word about compassionate living, a kind of life that doesn't have to kill other sentient creatures like Ziggy to survive and thrive. This was the introduction of a moral and ethical stance they'd never even heard of before: veganism. Soon, people everywhere were becoming vegetarian and vegan after meeting Ziggy.
Ziggy's Refuge has truly turned into a movement. Every animal in our care was "unwanted" -- either rescued from cruel, cramped conditions of factory farms or discarded and facing death due to a disability. We see the sentience in all of them and by providing refuge here at our sanctuary, every one of our social media followers and visitors to the farm can also see with clarity the individual personalities, intelligence, and will to live that each one possesses.