After escaping a livestock auction house and likely a grisly fate, a New York state pig is adjusting well to his new luxurious lifestyle.
“He likes what he likes,” Delaware Valley Humane Society Director Erin Insinga told HuffPost about Myles, the young pig discovered roaming the streets of Unadilla, New York, near a livestock auction house last month.
These days, Myles’ likes include going for walks (he has a harness), eating yogurt and expressing disdain for most vegetables.
“He’s very sassy,” Insinga said, adding that he’s apt to throw a “fit” when he can’t have exactly what he wants.
“He likes mushroom pizza,” she told local news station WBNG. “He loves crackers. Anything with carbs, he loves.”
Not long ago, Myles didn’t have it so cushy. Insinga had heard from a friend in mid-December that a pig was on the sidewalk not far from her house, which is located near a livestock auction house.
“The conditions were really, really cold and it was wet, and it was pitch black out,” Insinga said, but she still headed outside to investigate. She was unable to catch the bewildered animal that night, but felt a connection between her and the wily pig.
“This pig just speaks to me,” she remembered thinking. “I have to help him.”
Five days later and with the help of community volunteers, Myles was captured and brought to the animal shelter. The auction house requested payment for the pig, which turned out to be just $10. Insinga paid the fee, noting that she “didn’t want to get myself or the shelter or the volunteers in trouble.”
It’s unclear exactly how Myles escaped, but Insinga said the tag that was in his ear made it clear that he was headed for auction and, very likely, to eventually be slaughtered for meat ― since that’s the reason people would typically be purchasing a pig of his breed.
But now that’s off the table, and Myles is getting accustomed to living the high life.
“He’s thrived with us,” said Insinga. “Every day he became more and more receptive to love and affection from us, and training,” adding that the now-60-pound pig has learned to sit, turn and walk between his trainer’s legs.
Since Myles, who is estimated to be about 5 months old, will eventually get up to 800 pounds, it was important for the shelter to find an adopter who can accommodate his needs as he grows. This week the shelter, which usually only handles cats and dogs, announced it had found Myles a home and that he’ll be headed there soon.
“A wonderful woman in Vermont who has a very small farm just for fun wanted to add a pig, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity,” Insinga said.
She hopes Myles’ story will help people be “more conscious” about their dietary choices and that his personality and his story will encourage others to look at animals “as something other than something that needs to be consumed.”