Motorists reported a westbound pig in the eastbound lanes of I-90 in South Dakota. The 250-pound beast had apparently fallen off a truck headed for the slaughterhouse.
Officials from the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society and South Dakota Highway Patrol soon found him chilling in the median.The only injury he'd suffered was road rash.
Humane Society staff were unsuccessful in finding "Wally's" owner. Since the shelter wasn't equipped to care for such a large farm animal, they got in contact with SoulSpace Farm Sanctuary in New Richmond, Wisconsin, located 45 miles east of Minneapolis.
SoulSpace sits on 11 acres with a barn, a chicken coup, and a farmhouse that's more than a century old. Kara Breci lives there. She's the founder of the nonprofit with a mission "to rescue and protect farm animals from cruelty."
Launched last year, SoulSpace is already home to around 35 animals, including three sheep, a goat, hens and roosters, two peacocks, and a mini donkey. About 30 people volunteer at the farm that's supported entirely through private donations.
The lucky ones that find a home at SoulSpace usually don't fall off transport trucks. Two other pigs were found wandering in a field. The donkey and peacocks were rescued from a farm in southern Wisconsin whose owner had died. The goat had been tied up and left in somebody's yard as a prank.
"People have seen the video about the pig that fell off the truck and have been really supportive," says Beth Berhow, who sits on the group's board of directors. "They're overjoyed that he survived his jump from the truck and that he's not going to get slaughtered, and is saved.
"Everyone roots for the underdog, but when it comes time for someone to care for and spend money on these animals, they aren't valued as being worth money or spending the money needed to take care of them. That's why this sanctuary was founded."
SoulSpace is the haven for the disposable, those creatures who aren't even valued enough to be forgotten in the first place.
"Everybody values the individual person," Berhow says. "We hope people will stop and get to know more about these individual animals. We want to change the conversation about the way these animals are viewed and how they are treated."
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