Petunia, a tiny piglet rescued in June 2023 by the Sigu Refuge, a farmed animal sanctuary in Albertson, North Carolina, US, has survived against all odds. Although she is still partially blind and has not grown that much, she is progressing every day and no longer has the seizures she had during the first days after being rescued.

Little Petunia was found bruised, alone, and disoriented, wandering around in a North Carolina neighbourhood in June. She was having seizures and seemed to be dying. She was practically lifeless and fading in and out. She had significant brain damage, perhaps caused by falling from a truck. 

After being rescued she was taken to Tennessee for a CT scan. A week later she managed to stand on her own, but then she rapidly declined. Her body temperature dropped dangerously low, and she was just fading in and out for hours. Then, on 1st July, miraculously, the seizures stopped, and she began walking forward to her carers and was far more responsive than before her trip to Tennessee. However, it became clear that she was blind. 

After her spinal tap, Petunia gained a little better mobility function, and she was able to move forward, whereas, before, she was only walking backwards in a spin to the left. Her eyes were more alert, and she was finally vocalising and making little sounds. Staff at the sanctuary believe “Tunie”, as they call her, can see shadows and lights. 

A week later she was gaining more control of her neck, mouth, and front legs, although she still had not been able to eat or drink on her own since she arrived at the sanctuary. She was walking well and no longer going backwards. 

Then, in the second week of August, she reached 8 pounds, after having been stuck at 7.5 for over a month. A week later, the Sanctuary posted this on Instagram“Big announcement! Tunie now weighs 8.5 pounds! She has FINALLY gained a solid pound. This little lady’s care is unbelievably challenging and sometimes difficult to navigate, but she is such a tiny, precious miracle. She’s just a wee angel who is fighting like hell to overcome so many hurdles. Tunie is still blind, but the fact that she can eat and drink on her own now has been such a major relief for all of us, and she is quite proud of herself. Marshall is a total menace but he is so sweet and gentle with the Tune. They share bowls, and he never pushes her around.”  A week later she reached 8 pounds and 8 ounces, and she continues progressing.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.