Their Harrowing Start
To see Gromit and Veronique, today you would never imagine how their lives began. In January 2018, Farm Sanctuary rescued 24 severely neglected pigs from a farm in Cattaraugus County in NY. Three of those pigs were Gromit, Veronique and Wallace. They were being kept in dark, windowless barns, sheds and trailers. There was a makeshift butcher shed and the property was riddled with starving animals and corpses.
They were stuck in an absolute nightmare scenario. You can view a video of the rescue and their beginnings at sanctuary here:
Thankfully, they were rescued by Farm Sanctuary though there was fear they wouldn’t survive the ride to Cornell’s Nemo Veterinary Hospital, one of the best farm animal specialty hospitals in the country. Once stabilized, they arrived at Farm Sanctuary’s Melrose Small Animal Hospital, but Gromit, Veronique and Wallace were still frightened, emaciated and parasite-ridden.
While the trio grew stronger under the care of Farm Sanctuary, they were expected to have lifelong health complications due to the severity of neglect, mistreatment and parasite load leaving them with permanently compromised immune and digestive systems. They were adopted out to Hey Friend Foundation where they could receive individualized attention and care.
Wallace, Gromit and Veronique arrived at The Hey Friend Foundation in Spring 2018 and they immediately stole everyone’s hearts. Sadly, this October Wallace’s body couldn’t go on any longer. Sweet, gentle boy Wallace passed away on October 24, 2018.
Wallace was one the most severely emaciated, yet still alive animals that Farm Sanctuary rescuers had ever seen so it was a blessing that he was able to thrive relatively problem-free as long as he did.
Wallace had learned to love and trust again. His personality was so bright and he had a huge goofy smile that went well with his fun and silly demeanor. His best buddy was Gromit. They were constantly snuggling and exploring together. We cherish that he knew such love, safety and family during his short life.
As soon as Wallace began showing signs of not feeling well, we rushed him to be treated at University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center. After a series of tests, veterinarians were still uncertain of what was causing Wallace’s illness. As he worsened, it was decided to try exploratory surgery as a last effort. We received terrible news that Wallace’s entire spiral colon was necrotic. There was no way to save him and we had to let him go peacefully while he was under sedation. We all miss him every day. We’re grateful that Gromit and Veronique have each other and all of us to ease the pain.
Today Gromit and Veronique are living the good life! Jill, our Director of Shelter and Rescue, says that our boy Gromit is one of the sweetest angels she’s ever met and she’s met a lot of angels! Look his way and he’ll roll over in a puddle of love to get a belly rub. He runs, spins and play bows just like a puppy. Though bossy to his sis, he’s a mush to everyone else. Gromit is the handsome boy that honors us with his cuteness on our homepage.
Veronique is always on the go, Veronique prefers to be out rooting in the pasture way past her bedtime. While she appreciates a good belly rub, she won’t commit too long (#FOMO). She likes to nibble on your pants and shoes and if it slows her down enough to give her some love, we’ll take it. Veronique’s mid-day nap is your best chance to cuddle with her. When she’s not snoozing, she’s exploring. Veronique is a force!
Seeing them with the sun on their backs and running free brings tears to all our eyes.
Keep these two in your hearts as we do and wish for them many happy days!