He called in desperation. His voice and words were sincere. He had escaped the hurricane damage of his home in Puerto Rico with his little companion, Mile, pronounced Meelay. Mile is a one year old pig.
Braulio was reaching out to as many rescues and sanctuaries he could find in the Pacific Northwest. He had relocated to Seattle with Mile, but his living situation would not allow him to keep her. The landlords had given him a timeline of rehoming her.
One of the most common reasons people give when taking animals to shelters is 'moving'. There are times when we can't predict what will be happening in our lives and surely there are times when people are met with unexpected hardship and changes, when their animal companions are impacted. And sometimes, 'moving' does not give the details of why placing their animal in a shelter is the kindest, or only, option. However, I have known people who were simply unwilling to put in the extra effort that it would take, to include their animal companions. This is a mystery to me.
This is why Braulio and Mile's story is so special. He did not leave her behind, but included her in his move to the PNW. When he did reach out for help it was clear in speaking with him that this was a heart wrenching situation. He had no choice, given his own life circumstances.
Through a group effort we were able to find two volunteers to transport Mile from Seattle to Spokane, recently, in the winter. Having to go through Snoqualmie Pass, the weather and road conditions can be challenging.
We set up a space for Mile in our heated rabbit house at River's Wish. When Mile arrived she came out of her kennel as calm as could be and settled right in. This is not always the case. Mile is well socialized and as cute as a button!
Mile is surrounded by the sounds of ducks, roosters, old goats and the quiet whispers of rabbits. This is her temporary home, until she can move to her forever home in the spring. When spring arrives Mile will join the other pigs at Blackbird Ranch - Wildlife Rehabilitation and Farm Sanctuary in Pullman, Washington.
Mile's story is a bittersweet one. She is clearly loved by her person and those who meet her. She was never mistreated. Her life will be good. Hers is not the usual story we experience. She holds the light of who she is with those who have cherished her.
While our mission is to save lives through rescue, education and advocacy, our primary focus is for the well being of animals. To pursue this without embracing humans in the equation would be speciesist in reverse. Braulio needed help and wanted the best for his pig. Helping the two of them was a gift for everyone involved.