Regina Allman has recently received a new four-legged friend. He sleeps inside, is housebroken, but there’s a problem. He’s a pig.
“He doesn’t know he’s a pig,” she said, “but he’s pretty impressive for an indoor pig.” Allman founded and runs the non-profit Hog Heaven Rescue Farm in Cochranton with her husband David.
Hog Heaven is not just for pigs; this farm “rescues, rehabilitates, and fosters” seized or surrendered hoofed animals, like pigs, goats, cows, horses—occasionally even alpacas—eventually sending them to permanent homes.
The title “Hog Heaven” actually reflects three various parts of her life.
First, as a police officer in Pittsburgh, she and the rest of the force were referred to as “pigs.”
“We were told to take it as ‘pride, intelligence, guts.’”
The second “hog” refers to Harleys, “I was the first female rider in Pittsburgh.”
Lastly, “I’m actually blessed and living my dream, I’m in ‘Hog Heaven,’” she said of running the non-profit farm.
“Animals are very forgiving. You can take them from the doorstep of death and teach them kindness and trust.”
She emphasizes the difficulties for unwanted animals that are not cats or dogs. “The pot-bellied pig was the throw away pet of 90’s,” said Allman, who has 47 rescued pigs on her 108 acre farm.
“There are so many shelters for dogs and cats,” said Allman, who says hoofed animals and their needs are often ignored when they need to be properly rescued.
Allman tells a story of a pig brought to a shelter getting dropped into a cage with seven other large dogs.
“Pig are prey animals; being around dogs and cats is very stressful.”
Looking for a unique gift? This year, the farm restarted a sponsorship program; people can gift sponsorships of an animal to friends and family a certain dollar amount per month. Hog Heaven will send a certificate, photograph of the animal, and newsletter to the new sponsor.
Allman says she hears from people all over eastern America wanting her to take their pigs, including Vermont, New Jersey, and Kentucky. “We get most of our calls from Pittsburgh,” she said.
Unable to sponsor or adopt? Hog Heaven is always looking for volunteers.
“We assign chores to people’s ability,” she said.
Assignments can be as varied as scrapbooking, folding newsletters, cleaning out the barn, and feeding the animals.
Interested? Contact Regina Allman at 814-425-1850, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find Hog Heaven online at www.hogheavenrescue.org.
Find this article in the December 30 print issue of GoCrawfordCounty.com.