LENOIR COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – One pig is dead, and another is in terrible condition after Lenoir County SPCA says they were left on the side of a highway.
Officials got the call about it last week. They found mother Mia and her daughter Callie abandoned on Harvey Parkway.
“We’re concerned, you know, being a busy highway, we jumped in the action we got out there. We were able to load them up safely; just looking at them, they were in horrible conditions,” said Lenoir County Animal Control Officer Tabitha Ginn.
Joseph Purington, the owner of an animal sanctuary called Sisu Refuge, says both pigs had sores all over their bodies and were very dehydrated. Mia had some internal infections as well. Despite a few visits to the vet, Mia eventually died.
“Whatever conditions Mia was left in, and Callie all of this lead up to her death,” said Purington.
Now Sisu Refuge is searching to find out who left the pigs, as Purington says they most than likely have more abandoned animals.
“Neglect like this is actually extremely common because a lot of it goes unseen. We would like to make people aware because it’s a lot of responsibility owning animals in general of all species,” said Purington.
Lenoir County SPCA Director Eileen Beeson says they’re committed to doing what they can to stop this from happening again.
“We made a firm agreement that we are going to work really hard between animal control and SPCA to make sure every animal is taken care of in our county, and every animal has placement whether we have to call out to a rescue or make temporary housing we’re gonna do it,” said Beeson.
Purington says the community has been very supportive, even collecting donations to pay for the pig’s vet bills.
“Like I get chills when I think about we’re able to continue doing what it is that we’re doing, the work, the energy, the effort, the care because even though they’re not here in person, they’re backing us 100%,” said Purington.
According to animal control, since one of the pigs did die, whoever left them on the highway would be facing felony charges, with Sisu Refuge offering a $1,000 reward for anyone with information. While Mia didn’t make it, the owner of Sisu Refuge said Callie is now doing a lot better and is expected to make a full recovery.