The beginning of Maxwell’s story was traumatic and incredibly scary: At just six weeks old, this tiny piglet fell head-first out of a moving transport truck onto the interstate. He bounced off the pavement and into the path of high-speed traffic. Cars stopped, and thankfully, someone scooped him up. With no idea what to do next, Maxwell’s rescuer called her veterinarian and rushed him in for help. Once they arrived at the vet’s office, staff cleaned and cared for the cuts and road rash on his face and ears. The veterinarian also ordered x-rays to ensure he didn’t have any fractures or internal injuries. While he didn’t have any broken bones, Maxwell was terrified, confused, and desperately lonely. He was taken home and lovingly cared for by one of the employees at the vet’s office, Katie, while she tried to find Maxwell a safe forever home. Maxwell cried and called out for his mother and siblings that he would never see again. He wouldn’t eat and rubbed his little snout raw trying to root in the bottom of his plastic kennel. Soon, he became lethargic. Katie reached out to Heartland, and plans were quickly made to get him to our sanctuary. We fell in love with Maxwell the moment he arrived. He was so small, his pink skin littered with cuts and scrapes from all that he’d been through. Our hearts broke as we quickly noticed his docked tail and the large hole in his ear where a tag once was. Despite everything, all Maxwell wanted from us was to be loved. To be kept warm. To snuggle in close. Unfortunately, Maxwell wasn’t yet home for good. Despite our best efforts, he still wouldn’t eat or drink, remained lethargic and had developed diarrhea. Maxwell was taken to the UW Vet Hospital, where he received round-the-clock supportive care, anti-ulcer medicine (ulcers are fairly common in piglets) and monitored for a fever or signs of infection. Thankfully, Maxwell’s health improved and he returned to the sanctuary just a few days later. We’ve said it before – years ago when our rescued girl, Winnie, had a very similar start to her life story – and we’ll continue to say it again and again: The day Maxwell fell from that truck was the worst, yet luckiest day of his life. At Heartland, Maxwell has the chance to rewrite his story, a story with a traumatic start, but also a story that’s already punctuated with happy “firsts” (his first mud bath, his first time meeting our other sanctuary residents, his first all-out gallop in the pasture). His chapters will be filled with love, kindness and compassion.
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