Human Society saves a pet peg

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:16

    WARWICK-Now we have a pig tale. This past August The Warwick Advertiser reported that the Warwick Valley Humane Society had just rescued an owl. The story also mentioned that the organization frequently gets calls to rescue a variety of animals and birds besides cats and dogs. The most recent list, for example, included seven rabbits, six ducklings, one goose, one turkey, one duck, a chicken, goldfish, one guinea pig, 13 birds, one fawn and an iguana. The latest guest, however, was "Elmer," a friendly pig, now reunited with his owner. On Sept. 13, according to Suzyn Barron, president of the Warwick Valley Humane Society, a woman called the organization's Animal Shelter and reported that there was a stray pig in her yard. Although Barron is not aware of any Town ordinance covering a pig "running at large" she dispatched two Animal Control Officers: Theresa Dougherty and Dawn Woody. Dougherty is also a Veterinary Technician and a graduate of SUNY Delhi where she took courses in handling various farm animals including pigs. She later explained that the normal way to coral a pig is to block its peripheral vision from behind with a board. However Elmer is only eight months old and not very heavy so they simply picked him up. Then, Rupert Baron, an officer with the Humane Society, who also owns a small farm, volunteered to house Elmer while the staff at the Shelter tried to locate the owner. But there's more to the story. The next day, Dawn Woody's son Tyler went to his class at Kings Elementary School. He, of course, knew that his mom had just helped rescue a pig. His teacher, Loraine Boccia, told the class, "I'm sad today. My pig ran away." Tyler had good news for her. It wasn't long before her husband, Joe, arrived at the Shelter to reunite with the family's pet pig. Not having any formal pig handling training, he simply lured Elmer into a transport cage by offering him grapes. About the same time, by the way, the Warwick Police Department called the shelter to advise the animal control officers that there was a loose steer in the vicinity of Crystal Water Farm near Union Corners Road. As of this writing, the large animal, described as all black and sporting long horns, is still at large in a wooded area that's difficult to access. Local resident Celia Ross verified the sighting. The longhorn, or whatever it is, crossed the road in front of the school bus she was driving. Ross is also a volunteer at the Animal Shelter. "And believe it or not," said Suzyn Barron, "another school bus driver told Celia that she recently saw two loose buffalo in the same area on Sargent Road." One might ask, "Is this the Wild West?" Hopefully, a reader out there will have information that will steer the Shelter staff to the rightful owners. Meanwhile, Barron is busy teaching an injured Blue Jay how to fly.