NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio-- A golden retriever and pig that were abandoned outside the Tuscarawas County Humane Society are being adopted together.
Surveillance video showed a masked man remove the dog from a car at about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday and tie it to a post in front of the shelter. He then placed a cage containing the pot-bellied pig near the entrance. A Tuscarawas County sheriff's deputy found the animals about four hours later.
Kelli Stark and her daughter, Grace Erb, who run Maplewood Farm in Louisville, saw the video, which went viral online.
“When I first saw the golden retriever, she just pulled at my heart strings,” Erb said. “And I was like, ‘Uh, there's a pig. We have to get the pig!’”
The family has rescued dozens of animals, including dogs, horses and 17 pigs. Sometimes, they’ve been dropped off at the farm.
“With having a farm, we've had many animals dropped off at our facility, and it's heartbreaking,” said Erb, who also works at a veterinary clinic.
Director Haley Predragovich chose theirs from among hundreds of applications to adopt the animals because of their backgrounds caring for animals and ability to care for both.
Erb and Stark met the animals Tuesday afternoon and took home the golden retriever, who was healthy. They planned to take home the pig Friday after she receives additional veterinary care.
“They need to know that they're loved, and we can't wait,” said Stark.
According to an incident report, deputies tracked down the man who abandoned the animals through a license plate captures in the surveillance video. A Strasburg man was cited for cruelty to animals and abandoning animals.
Predragovich said there is no excuse for abandoning animals anywhere.
“Reach out. Reach out for help, whether it is a local humane society, local dog pound or even breed specific rescues,” she said.
Predragovich noted there were still dozens of animals at the shelter available for adoption.
The golden retriever and pig were both headed to a loving home.
“They will never be separated; they will live out the rest of their days at our farm,” Erb said.