Owners of Little Oink Bank, a pig sanctuary in Aldergrove, have packed up their piggies and made the move to the Interior in pursuit of adventure and more space to house hogs.
Carrie Shogun had opened her non-profit organization to house abandoned pot-belly and mini pigs several years back – caring for more than 48 rescue-hogs, alongside a few cows, goats, and chickens on a farm generally closed to public visits.
She did, however, hold a vegetarian fundraiser dinner in 2019 called Diner Avec Les Cochons to help expand public awareness and care for the animals.
Ultimately, too many problems with the old property led them to look elsewhere this past July.
“The weather was so bad – even in mid-July – up until the day we moved we had the fireplace on,” she recalled. “The rain was so constant that there was simply no spot that was dry. It’s not good for the animals with hooves to be on wet ground 24/7.”
Shogun said old and failing infrastructure such as fencing, the barn, and even her house, led them to look elsewhere – ultimately landing a new location in Oliver, B.C. with a “big amazing barn, a beautiful house, and more than double the property size.”
“It was just the right move for us and it was really good timing,” she said. “A lot of stress and frustration is gone now and we are able to move the sanctuary forward, rather than spending all our time trying to patch holes that would never be filled.”
Little Oink Bank closed to the public at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic because Shogun said she had family members with “vulnerable” immune systems.
She did say she was appreciate of the many hands, however, who came to help the animals pack up and move east.
READ MORE: Off the menu and onto the farm
“The behaviour of the animals has changed so much. They are so happy and relaxed now,” she said. “They are one completely integrated herd and they are able to have enough space to truly act like pigs.”
Because of this, Shogun said she is establishing routines and procedures for this new space, anticipating their opening date to be sometime in the spring of 2021.
“We are holding at capacity for now as we are still establishing schedules for the herd and we would like to get through a winter before we add any new faces, although we have plenty of space,” Shogan said.
Beyond taking in homeless hogs, Shogun said Little Oink Bank’s mission is to educate people about mini-pigs as 90 per cent of them are re-homed, given up, sold, or abandoned because of their massive undertaking.
Though she is busy setting her new home and charity up in Oliver, Shogun said her family moved to Aldergrove in 1987, a place she will forever consider to be her home town.
“I am so grateful to have the memories of Aldergrove, from the Aldergrove Fair Days, to the Otter Co-Op,” Shogun said. “There is not an inch of town and surrounding country that doesn’t hold a memory and there are days when I miss it very much. We are so grateful for the support of the community and are so excited to see the new growth coming for the town.”
People can keep up with Little Oink Back online at www.facebook.com/liloinkbank.
”Thank you for embracing us and helping us to help the Babes – from donating your pumpkins and fall apples, to your gently loved blankets, to your coming out to visit during our open houses,” Shogun said to the people of Aldergrove. “We hope you will continue to watch us grow and will arrange a visit if you’re ever in the Okanagan.”
Is there more to this story?