Life doesn’t get much better for a pig than it is for Anna and Maybelle. Their adoptive mom is animal activist and Do Unto Animals author Tracey Stewart. Dad is none other than Jon Stewart, former host of “The Daily Show.” Their new parents make sure they have plenty of fresh straw to nest in, a spacious pasture to run and play, and healthy food to eat — even spoiling them with the occasional treat. Tracey, Jon, and their two children treat Anna and Maybelle like a part of the family — and they are quickly becoming just that.
How did two pigs who were just months ago destined for slaughter become part of the Stewart clan? Sit tight, because it was a long journey to this happy ending.
Rescue from the Roadside
When an animal activist named Julie Robertson gazed out of her window while driving a busy road in Georgia, she was certainly not expecting to see two rogue piglets trotting along the highway. But that is exactly what she saw in the summer of 2015, when she first spotted Anna and Maybelle. The piglets were visibly terrified, confused, and exhausted. Anna was limping along with an injured leg, and Maybelle’s infected eye didn’t make their journey any easier. It was clear that these two little pigs needed to get to safety — and fast!
Anna and Maybelle were so frightened that it took Julie two days to catch them. Eventually, the girls were so hungry that they allowed Julie to coax them into a crate with treats and whisk them to safety. When the pair arrived at her house to a nest made out of blankets. Finally safe, the little pigs were so worn out from their ordeal that they headed straight for the cozy pile and were snoring almost instantly.
Where did they come from?
We can only guess based on past rescues, but we believe Anna and Maybelle fell from a transport truck. Piglets are notorious for squirming their way out of trailers, sometimes falling onto the highway without the driver even noticing. Such a fall can be fatal for young animals, but these two tough girls avoided serious injury, and managed to stay out of oncoming traffic. Most importantly, they managed to stay together, which helped them both survive their scary ordeal.
If they had remained on the truck, the piglets likely would have been heading to a stockyard, where animals are bought and sold. There, piglets are sold to “finishing operations,” where they are raised until they are just six months old and then sent to slaughter.
Fortunately Anna and Maybelle narrowly escaped this sad fate, and now they will live out their lives splashing in puddles, squealing with joy, and rooting like pigs should!
Becoming the Newest Stewarts
When Farm Sanctuary first heard about Anna and Maybelle, we immediately offered them a home at our rescued animal shelter in New York. And that is where they met the Stewarts.
Anna and Maybelle’s story captured the hearts of Jon and Tracey upon first meeting while they were on a tour of the sanctuary. And soon they had a place not only in their hearts, but in their home!
“Anna and Maybelle are a parent’s dream,” says Tracey. “They are cuddly, playful and supportive of one another. They are generous — always willing to offer up their bellies for rubs when you need it.”
And now the real journey begins.
As they regain their health, Anna and Maybelle’s unique personalities are starting to emerge. The friends, possibly sisters, are closely bonded. The girls take great comfort in each other, just as they have since their frightening two days on the roadside.
Each day they are learning to live like piglets: playing, exploring, and even chasing the Stewarts’ two children around the pasture, to everyone’s delight. We can only imagine the bright future and fun that lies ahead for these two pigs lucky enough to be rescued — and by the Stewart family, no less!
Everyone who has met Anna and Maybelle is simply squealing with delight as we watch these “PFFs” (pig friends forever) grow into their personalities. Follow Anna and Maybelle’s journey at The Daily Squeal!