Rita, a pregnant pig, was on a truck bound for a slaughterhouse when she jumped overboard. Now, the brave mama is enjoying life with her babies at her new forever home.
The escape artist spent the majority of her life in hellish conditions at a factory farm — where mama pigs are kept confined to tiny crates where they barely have enough space to move — before workers loaded her into the truck and sent her to face her death.
Determined to survive, Rita pried open the truck’s metal gate and took a “leap of faith” from the moving vehicle onto the grass alongside Highway 50 near Sacramento, Calif., according to witnesses. Animal control officers took her to a local animal shelter where she soon gave birth to 14 piglets, five of whom unfortunately did not survive.
When nobody claimed Rita and her nine surviving piglets, the Animal Place sanctuary in Grass Valley rescued them.
“It was our turn to take a leap of faith,” the sanctuary wrote on its website. “We had already taken in several other animals and had limited space, but we knew we needed to help this pig (now named Rita) and her babies.”
It took several days for the Rita to feel comfortable letting humans near her little ones, but she gradually warmed up to caretakers, and her piglets are thriving, the sanctuary said.
Rita and her piglets are living the happy lives that all farmed animals deserve, free from the gruesome conditions on factory farms and lives cut tragically short.