Desperate bid to save abandoned pig

The kunekune was left on the side of the road unable to walk. Photo: Supplied
The kunekune was left on the side of the road unable to walk. Photo: Supplied
A disabled pet kunekune with a gentle nature was left to die on the side of a Canterbury road.

Kathryn Meyers.
Kathryn Meyers.
West Melton runner Kathryn Meyers came across the pig at 11.30am on June 17, sparking a two-and-a half-hour rescue operation involving about eight people.

“I couldn’t bear to not see it through and see her taken into a nicer environment, because I felt humans had failed her by leaving her there,” Meyers said.

The group was able to get the kunekune standing and transport it to the Christchurch SPCA about 2pm, where it is understood it was euthanised the following day due to severe arthritis.

Whoever dumped the pig left sawdust and hay bedding, as well as pig nuts, kiwifruit and leeks. However, the food was out of reach.

Meyers said the pig seemed hungry and eagerly ate from her hands.

“She was very gentle and friendly. I was patting her a lot,” Meyers said.

The kunekune was also “extremely thirsty” and later, when it was standing, drank two ice cream containers full of water.

Rescuers were able to get the kunekune standing and transported her to the SPCA. Photo: Supplied
Rescuers were able to get the kunekune standing and transported her to the SPCA. Photo: Supplied
Passersby had stopped to help, while others came to the scene, including a veterinarian and district council ranger, after Meyers posted to the West Melton Facebook community group.

“I can hardly deal with this cruelty. Someone has dumped this pig down by the forest on the side of the road. Can anyone please help me? The pig is friendly and looks sad or hurt,” she wrote. Meyers believed it had been left there, off to the side of Weedons Ross Rd near West Melton Forest, within the last hour as she noticed it when she ran past an hour earlier.

Megan Strydon and her friend Steph Milne came across the small group that had gathered as they were riding their horses in the area.

Strydon is co-manager of Arion Farm Education Park at McLeans Island, and called on her experience with kunekune pigs. She was able to get it standing, but found due to its suspected arthritis the pig could only walk on its knees.

The vet administered pain relief and Strydon and Milne used their horse float to transport it to the SPCA, which agreed to take it in.

Strydon said the pig had obviously been a pet. It was a fully grown adult female, but not elderly. It had been well looked after, with a “beautiful coat” and trimmed hooves.

She condemned the actions of the person or people who dumped it. She urged anyone considering dumping animals to think about the distress it caused them. Pigs in particular are sociable and intelligent creatures, like dogs.

“If I put it politely, I think it’s disgusting. There’s always a better way, even if they got a farmer to come and shoot her, that would have been better than starving and freezing to death on the side of the road,” Strydon said.

She went back to the SPCA the following day, learning later that day it had been put to sleep following an examination by a pig specialist.

“They did try,” Strydon said.

A SPCA spokesperson said the organisation was conducting an investigation and was unable to make any comment.


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