Tia and Tamara, the Vietnamese pot bellied pig sisters, moved in to their new home in East Cork yesterday after spending just over a week enjoying the hospitality of the Cork Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CSPCA).
Apart from Tamara’s short break for freedom upon arrival at Ballyseedy Garden Centre in Carrigtwohill, to inspect the rear of her new shed, the transport operation went smoothly.
And judging by their initial reaction to their new surroundings, the piggy pair looked as happy as pigs in er, well, new surroundings.
“The whole operation couldn’t have gone better,” CSPCA manager, Vincent Cashman said.
“They were only in the horse box for about a half an hour.
“Apart from that minor escape to inspect the back of the shed, they went in fine.
“I went back down there later in the afternoon and they were asleep under the straw. They seem to have settled in very well, with very little stress.”
The CSPCA, Cork’s largest animal welfare organisation, doesn’t normally have to deal with abandoned or lost pigs.
But Mr Cashman said they made an exception in this case, given the very special circumstances.
“We were just delighted to be able to play our part to ensure this story had a happy ending,” he said.
Tia and Tamara were given up for adoption just over a week ago by their Tipperary owner who has to emigrate.
She approached the CSPCA to ensure that her pets found a suitable new home and the CSPCA issued an appeal for help through the Irish Examiner.
Nathan McDonnell read about the pigs’ plight and was among almost 20 people who contacted the CSPCA with offers of help.
He keeps donkeys, alpacas, ducks and hens on land alongside the Carrigtwohill garden centre and he said he thought the pigs would fit in well in East Cork.
The CSPCA inspected his facility and decided that Mr McDonnell was the man to save their bacon.
“They settled in well after they were fed and watered. They relaxed in to their new surroundings and they seem to be happy enough,” Mr McDonnell said.
“We have a nice bed of straw for them and they’ve tucked themselves in to it. And the rest of the animals have warmed to them too.”
Tia and Tamara can be viewed by visitors to Ballyseedy in their new pen next to donkeys, Bobby and Barney.
But the sisters will have a summer retreat in Kerry too, it emerged last night.
They will spend the winter in East Cork before moving to a purpose-built pen on a 5.5-acre animal sanctuary next to Mr McDonnell’s Tralee garden centre outlet for the summer.
Mr McDonnell has made a donation to the CSPCA, and plans to work with the organisation in to the future.