RAVENNA, Ohio (WJW) — There’s a philosophy at Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, where rescued farm animals heal and prepare for their future homes.
“Every living being on this planet deserves love and respect and to live a life free of suffering,” said volunteer Ilona Urban.
Even when that means they need a little plastic surgery.
Winnie the pot-bellied pig found herself in that spot last month after arriving at the Ravenna sanctuary about a year and a half ago — weighing 420 pounds
“She was living in a condominium in Cleveland,” said Urban. “She did not have access to the outdoors, and she was being fed an extremely poor diet for pigs, or humans. Just not good stuff. Pop-tarts, things like that.”
Because of her weight, she was so heavy that her stomach overflowed onto the ground. Urban said she couldn’t walk; she crawled on her front knees and drug her back legs to get around.
“Her obesity certainly would have ended her life,” she said.
But the staff and volunteers at the sanctuary quickly got her diet back on track, feeding her a healthy diet meant for a pot-bellied pig. They even documented her weight-loss journey on social media with “Winnie weigh-in Wednesdays.”
Thanks to the TLC, Winnie was finally able to reach a much healthier weight: 197 pounds. But because of the extreme weight loss, the skin on her abdomen drug on the ground, so much so that she stepped on it when she walked.
The sanctuary contacted the Ohio State University veterinary team to find out if she could be a candidate to be spayed and get a tummy tuck. She was, and underwent the surgery last month. The surgery was paid for by the generosity of donors.
Urban said about 10 inches of skin was removed, and Winnie is healing up well.
“So she can move much more freely now and get around,” said Urban. “She’s a pretty happy pig.”
Winnie is one of many different types of animals up for adoption at the sanctuary. There are horses, chickens, alpacas and more, all up for adoption. Each has their own personality and story and are given the treatment and love they need, whether that calls for a special diet — or a tummy tuck — so they can find their furever homes.
“It all comes down to quality of life,” said Urban, “and I think people with their dogs and cats will understand that term completely.”
For more on Winnie and Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, click here.