Having been brutally attacked by his owner, a pot-bellied pig named Vernon was severely injured and had been left to die. And for days the animal was suffering from lacerations, including a deep maggot-infested stab wound. Then, thankfully, someone finally came to his aid.
Vernon’s story began in Lancaster, Ohio, where his owner left the pot-bellied pig injured outside on his property. The animal was clearly suffering there, prompting a concerned neighbor to call the animal rights charity PETA for help.
When they arrived on the scene, then, the PETA officials immediately noticed the horrific state Vernon was in: cut and beaten all over his body and with one deep, maggot-infested gash. And even the vet who found him said that he was simply “sickened” by what he saw.
His rescuers suspected that Vernon had belonged to an abusive home, where he was attacked by his owner with a crowbar before being stabbed repeatedly. Unsurprisingly, the incident had left the pig terrified. And though injured, he still managed to run away and hide in the woods when his rescuers approached. It wasn’t until the next day, in fact, that the PETA officials were able to track down the poor pig.
And when they finally caught Vernon it was clear he would need medical attention if he was going to survive his injuries. The pig had stab wounds all over his body along with further injuries to his head – and there was almost nothing left of one of his ears except for a strip of dead tissue.
So as soon as they could, his saviors rushed Vernon off to Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital. His condition was so critical, however, that he needed immediate emergency surgery. And although the vets there could do nothing for the damaged ear, fortunately they managed to save his injured eye.
Not that Vernon was totally out of the woods, though: even if the operation was a relative success, he would need a long recovery period. In fact, he would have to endure weeks of intensive care in the hospital before he could begin a new life. However, at this point, it was a miracle he was still alive.
In the meantime, though, PETA made plans to find Vernon a loving new home – which they did at Happy Trails Sanctuary. The non-profit organization in Ravenna, Ohio, specializes in the rescue and rehabilitation of farmyard animals.
And the sanctuary was happy to help. “[Vernon] made it and is healing from his physical wounds but will need attention, love and care to start his emotional healing. Meanwhile, his abuser will be brought up on charges for alleged domestic violence, vandalism and animal cruelty,” it announced on Facebook.
When he was finally recuperated, then, Vernon finally settled into life at the sanctuary, where he was pampered and given much-appreciated belly rubs by the staff. What’s more, under such loving care his good nature shone through.
And as well as being appreciated at his new home, Vernon also gained many fans online. Indeed, his heartwrenching story caught the attention of many people, some of whom flocked to social media to share their love for the pig. “Poor angel. Heartbreaking story. Please make sure he gets his happily ever after. He’s earned it,” wrote one person. “Thank you for saving his life,” another added.
Soon, though, the time came for Vernon to find a forever home. “Vern does not appear to hold anything that happened in [his] past against the loving, caring people who are now in his world… Vernon is very forgiving, very sweet, and very easy to fall in love with,” the sanctuary announced.
And one family in Medina, Ohio, duly fell for Vernon’s charms. After contacting Happy Trails, then, they picked Vernon up and took him to his new home.
Adorably, Vernon fell for his new family as well. Footage of him at his new home, for example, shows him chasing his human siblings Sophie and Miles, enjoying cuddles with his new friends and generally making himself at home.
And the news of Vernon’s adoption received an understandable outpouring of joy on social media. “Love to those who adopted Vernon, they’re the kind of people you want to know. Kisses to Vernon,” commented one lady. Another said, “He must be enjoying life now – he gets to be a coach potato! So good to hear he has a wonderful home and will never, ever be abused again!”
Sadly, though, despite his seeming domestic bliss, life wasn’t all plain sailing for Vernon. Not long after his adoption, the pig began coughing and vomiting. An X-ray then showed that Vernon had a foreign object lodged in his intestine – one which required surgery to have the item removed.
Thankfully, however, Vernon’s surgery and recovery went well, and he was able to return to his new family in no time. There he likes rolling in the mud and sneaking the odd peanut butter sandwich as well as – curiously – being walked on a leash like a dog.
And after Vernon had settled in, his old friends at Happy Trails gave its supporters the good news. “Vernon was indeed adopted by a most caring family, and now resides in a home and is surrounded with much love to make up for his past experience,” a spokesperson wrote in the sanctuary’s December 2015 newsletter.
“He has a mom, a dad and two children he can call his own. Vernon goes outside to go potty, climbs up on the sofa if he feels like it and naps with the new young lady in his life, Sophie,” the letter continued.
And this undoubtedly all came as good news to Vernon’s supporters: after all, when he was first discovered it was impossible to know if he would live, let alone prosper. Now, though, his transformation from the bruised and battered pig left to die by his abuser is nothing short of amazing – and Vernon can run free, rather than run in fear.