The Pearly Acre: You can visit a pig sanctuary near Peterborough

The Pearly Acre, in Havelock Ont., is a haven for pigs of all shapes and sizes (with one resident, Charlotte, exceeding 600 pounds).

Founder Sarah Heydon said they have 15 pigs that call the 35-hectare property home.

“They all come from different backgrounds,” said Heydon.

“Some of them have more intricate stories than others, but basically, we have nine potbellies, two Kunekune pigs and four farm pigs, or commercial pigs.”

Like Fern, for example, a commercial pig that was able to get off a transport truck. Or Dexter, a potbelly pig that was rescued from a condo.

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“Education really is a huge component of what we do here, it’s the most important, and then the second thing that we really like to facilitate is just a connection,” said Heydon, noting the sanctuary is a not-for-profit organization.

She said one of the biggest misconceptions about pigs is the existence of mini, or teacup, pigs. In reality, Heydon said they don’t exist, often being surrendered when they continue growing.

Heydon said she is eager to share information about pigs and animal welfare with visitors while giving them an up close and personal experience.

“Not a lot of people wake up in the morning and can go pet a pig so to be able to come to a place where the animals are safe and well cared for and will live out their whole life here, that’s really something that I like to share with people.”

Down the line, Heydon said they are hoping to host overnight stays, with a focus on education. In the meantime, you can visit the sanctuary on Saturdays, booking a tour through the Pearly Acre website.

Heydon said the rescue residents are sure to give you a warm welcome.

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“They are really friendly,” she said. “They just want their bellies rubbed.”

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