Mr Piggy breaks free, spreads the love before de-sexing
IT was a tale of forbidden romance, or perhaps just a bit of filthy frolicking.
Either way, when lusty male pig Willy-Joel broke into the quarters of fertile female Charli at the Sugarshine Feminist Animal Rescue Mission in Wyrallah, it was a match made in piggy heaven.
Willy had managed to contravene the strict rule of celibacy imposed on all animals at the farm.
The window of opportunity afforded to this lothario was just four days - the time between him getting dropped off at the farm one night, and the vet arriving to desex him.
"We were in denial (about the pregnancy) to start with but one day we noticed she was getting quite a bit bigger," Sugarshine founder Kelly Nelder said.
Three months, three weeks, and three days later, 11 beautiful piglets were born - all in good health.
Despite the pregnancy hiccup, the three women who run Sugarshine took it all in their stride in what is a labour of love.
They now manage about 60 animals in a rescue farm devoted almost exclusively to abandoned farm animals, allowing the animals to live out their days in peace and harmony in a virtual animal utopia.
"We work hard but we love it; it's our dream so we don't complain," fellow Sugarshiner Fox Stace said
The inspiration for the farm was born 1500km away in Broken Hill, where Kelly worked as a nurse and carer for injured kangaroos, and abandoned cats and dogs in her spare time.
One night she received a call from the vet asking her to look after a baby goat found on a landfill site tied up in a bag who was not expected to live. The goat did survive, and Kelly named her Sunshine, the farm's first rescued farm animal.
Demand only snowballed from there, prompting a move to the greener pastures of the Northern Rivers. Now animals get regularly dropped off in the middle of the night.
The enterprise is a joyful one, but the completely self-funded farm does take a financial toll.
"Everything's funded on my nursing income," Kelly said.
"We're really doing it by the skin of the teeth."
Fortunately the farm has a fan in Lismore business Affordable Wholefoods, who sourced a supply of high-protein feed for their animals from one of their suppliers, Gunnedah-based Wholegrain Milling.
Now at capacity and increasing day by day, Kelly and Fox are appealing for the community to provide permanent no-breed no-kill homes for their rescued animals, which make surprisingly lovable pets.
AT A GLANCE
Sugarshine Farm's animal population:
2 bobbie calves
3 cats (rescued)
4 dogs (rescued)
2 rabbits (rescued from snake food)
To contact the farm, call Kelly on 0411 620 024 or visit their Facebook page.
The farm has also started a Gofundme account.