Meet the Pigs

Mabel Consuela and Diego Montoya   Rescued!
(both pig farm rescues)

Saved Together, Bonded Forever.

In the spring of 2014, our perfect Red Duroc farm pig, Petunia, departed this life at the ripe old age of 8. Pretty good, considering that most pigs only live about six months before they are sent to slaughter. While we knew we could never replace Petunia, after a respectful grieving period, we decided to honor her memory by saving two meat pigs and giving them a chance to fill our hearts with pig joy.

And so we went back to the longtime New England pig farmer who had sold us Petunia as a piglet rather than sending her to slaughter. He is a good, honest guy who genuinely likes his stock and treats them humanely. But his pigs are not pets. They are his livelihood. They are the same pigs that grace many local holiday tables, end up being the "bacon" on a plate of bacon and eggs or are skewered on a spit at summertime pig roasts. Sooner or later, they are all sold for meat; the piglets sooner, the producing sows later. And though our two will never be eaten, we paid fair meat prices for them in order to save them from that fate.

There were dozens of piglets to choose from, so rescuing just two was difficult. How to decide who to save and who to leave behind? It took hours.

These are our lucky two, both black and white Berkshires. They have long forgotten how scared and lonely they were their first night at Tomten. We humans, though, have a harder time chasing away bad memories. I am still haunted by the screams of the many distressed sows who watched them be pulled away from their mother. The entire barn cried out and it was difficult to witness such anguish. And this was just at the pig farm, not inside the walls of a processing facility.

The lives of Diego and Mabel have been spared. They now have each other and you and me here at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary.



H O G   H E A V E N

Sponsor a Pig and Become an Honorary Tomten, like Ed!

Ed received an animal sponsorship for Mabel as a gift from his daughter, Mary.
Read their story below.

A Personal Note from Jenifer, Founder of Tomten Farm and Sanctuary…

It's true that we make a difference in the lives of animals but we also hope to make a difference in the lives of humans. I originally posted the following on Tomten's Facebook on Christmas morning, 2017. With the permission of both parties involved, I would like to share with you the story of "the black pig" and the man I have never met who has so touched my heart. Here is the message we received from his daughter on his behalf:

    "Hey Jen. Would love to sponsor Mabel if she is still available. My father, who is now in his nineties, grew up on a farm in North Reading, Massachusetts. Yes, that was farmland in the early 1930s. His family was forced to sell the farm during the Great Depression to save their "city house." He still feels badly that their big black pig was killed and eaten during those tough times. Eighty years later he still gets tears in his eyes when he talks about her. I do too. Mabel is my way of trying to right that."

I cannot read those words without feeling sadness and love and purpose. All lives matter and animals, as they often do, leave footprints on our soul... as Ed's family's black pig did on him so many years ago. I am grateful for this first pig sponsorship but more than that, I am grateful and honored that the life we saved, our big black pig (Mabel), may bring some happiness to a beautiful man who lost his own beautiful friend so many years ago.

Thank you, Mary and Ed, for allowing us to share gifting us a priceless memory we will carry for years to come.

THIS is what "pastured pork" looks like at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary.

Introducing Tomten's
Animal Sponsorship Program

Sponsor a Pig
Become an Honorary Tomten

When you sponsor Diego Montoya or Mabel Consuela you become an Honorary Tomten, helping us provide peace, protection and possibility while getting to know "your" pig—even if you live thousands of miles away.

Your one-year pig Sponsorship gives Honorary Tomtens an opportunity to make a direct impact on the lives of their favorite animal. You'll receive lots of updates beyond our traditional public posts. And while you may not be able to be here personally, we will make sure you feel as though you are with regular photos (including a few surprise videos) sent to your phone or email all year long!

Here's How Sponsorship Works:
Sponsors make a one-time tax-deductible donation of 50% of a pig's total estimated yearly care expenses. Tomten Farm and Sanctuary applies those funds to the daily care of the sanctuary pig you choose to help. Upon receipt of your donation, TF&S removes the pig from our "animals available for sponsorship" list. Then comes the exciting part: our resident Tomten waves his magic wand and makes you an Honorary Tomten!! Next, we announce the exciting news to TF&S supporters via social media including Facebook, Instagram and this website. (To ensure your privacy, we will share your first name, last initial only). We also encourage you to share the story behind your sponsorship choice.  And, if you like, you can also send a photo of yourself to post on this page with "your" pig, as we have done with Ed and Mabel at left. We guarantee that our pig will oink with joy.

Sound Good?
Your one-time tax-deductible donation of $650 will sponsor a Tomten pig and receive Honorary Tomten status for one year. That amount is your half of the expenses incurred to support that animal—your special gift to Mabel Consuela or Diego Montoya. The other half is paid by a second Honorary Tomten (Sponsor) or Tomten Farm and Sanctuary if no one else cares to step up for that animal.  So, in this case, while Mary and Ed have sponsored Mabel, you could choose to sponsor her as well by donating the other half of her expenses OR you could sponsor 50% of our other black pig, Diego Montoya's, care.

However you look at it—$54.16 per month, $12.50 per week or $1.78 per day—sponsorship is a fun and oh-so-gratifying way to provide peace, protection and possibility to animals in need, making a real difference in their day-to-day lives all year long. It can also be a loving gift for someone you love.

Want to Start Today?
Simply go to the Donate button on the top of this column and indicate you want to donate $650.  Be sure to tell us which pig you want to sponsor* and our Tomten will wave his magic wand making you an Honorary Tomten this very day!

More Ways to Help
You can also donate as little as $10 per month toward supporting any animal (not just pigs) that you choose OR donate to our General Fund. We offer all kinds of other tax-deductible donation options.
Click here for details.

*Sorry, we know everyone has their favorites but since each sponsorship is for 50% of care, only two Honorary Tomtens per pig per year are available and are selected in the order they were received.

Donate Now


Did You Know...

Hold the bacon! More than 115 million pigs are slaughtered annually in the United States. For most, life ends at 6 months or 225 pounds. Pigs are smart, friendly, very clean and nearly as trainable as dogs. Ours come when called and have been trained to sit before they receive a treat (as shown above by volunteer Susan B.) We can't imagine not having one (or two!) here at Tomten.

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Tomten Farm and Sanctuary
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing peace, protection and possibility to animals in need.

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