After hours of searching, they found her — battered, bruised and scared. Family tried to calm the plump, pink, 260-pound pig, but Jiblet kept shaking, afraid of letting anyone get too close. But 15-year-old Alix Lundy finally arrived.
Deep in the pasture, a quarter-mile from the pig’s pen, Lundy saw the wounds. Jiblet was covered with long, bloody scratches, apparently inflicted by a metal rake. She was exhausted and fighting the pain.
However, the sight of Lundy soothed the animal.
Lundy and her family learned early Sunday morning that their two pigs, Jiblet and Ralo, had gone missing overnight. Jiblet was found, but Ralo is still gone. Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for the pig after the two appeared to be taken from their pen, dragged a far length and severely beaten near a Galt ranch last weekend.
“I felt horrified,” Lundy said. “When you see that someone would even do that, it breaks your heart.”
Lundy bought Jiblet and Ralo in January, eager to train and care for both before auctioning one off at the San Joaquin County Fair. Showing pigs is a tradition in her family, and Lundy was anticipating her first show, just two weeks away.
“I was so excited for the fair,” she said.
Lundy nurtured the pigs. She spent several hours each day at the ranch, cleaning the pens, feeding the pigs and playing with the pink and black pigs.
“They’re so sweet,” Lundy said. “To me, animals are so loving. They want to be with you and they’re always loyal. My pigs were very loyal.”
When she arrived at the ranch, they’d run to the gate, wag their tails and oink happily.
But today, Jiblet still seems haunted by the ordeal.
Lundy’s family, along with Sheriff’s deputies, spent hours searching for the missing pig, and found a broken rake, wheelbarrow and a hose possibly used to tie up the pigs nearby.
Jiblet’s scratches are starting to heal, but she still walks with a noticeable limp. And her eyes, which usually appeared almost closed, are wide and alert.
“She looks around a lot,” Lundy said. “She’s not the same as she used to be. She lets me pet her now, but after it happened she didn’t want to be touched.”
Lundy is no longer going to show Jiblet at the fair, and will instead nurse her back to health.
This week, Lundy even decided to rename her remaining pig. “Survivor,” which she’s now called, seems to be making progress with each day, Lundy said.
“I just pet it and make sure it eats and make sure it feel good,” Lundy said. “She seems a lot happier than she was.”
Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.