Feeding Peoria Field
VISITING THE SANCTUARY
OUR TOURS ARE OVER UNTIL MID SEPTEMBER DUE TO THE HOT WEATHER.
YOU MUST MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AHEAD OF TIME TO TOUR THE SANCTUARY. THANK YOU!
We love having visitors but due to limited staff time, we prefer that all tours be scheduled on Saturdays. Exceptions can be made for visitors from out of state. During the winter and spring months our tours are set up for Saturdays at 10:00am. During the warmer months tours are set up for Saturdays at 9:00am.
We are closed for tours from mid May to mid September due to the intense heat when temperatures can range from 100-115 degrees. Again, exceptions can be made for out of town visitors, but be aware that the heat makes it very uncomfortable plus the pigs are hiding in the shade and are seldom out during the hot times of the day.
To arrange a tour, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred date to visit, the number in your party and whether anyone needing physical assistance will need the service of riding in a golf cart. Unfortunately, we are not wheelchair accessible.
Please click on “Contact Us” or click here for Directions to Ironwood. Please do not depend on GPS or mapping services as some of the roads are inaccessible or unsafe. This is a rural area with dirt roads, some of which are not county maintained. Our directions will put you on the safest routes.
A tour of the sanctuary is a 1 to 2 hour walking tour through the various fields. You will be out in the sun for the entirety of the tour. Please consider the following to make your visit pleasant:
*Wear comfortable walking shoes.
*Wear a hat.
*Bring a water bottle. Refills are available.
Remember to plan ahead and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. We are happy to have the opportunity to share the sanctuary and our pigs with you!
The Ironwood Pig Sanctuary is dedicated to eliminating the suffering of pot bellied pigs in Arizona and surrounding states by promoting spaying and neutering, assisting owners and other sanctuaries, and providing a permanent home in a safe, nurturing environment for those that are abandoned, abused, neglected, or unwanted.
We are home to almost 600 pot bellied pigs.
Do You Want To Donate?
The Ironwood Pig Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and any donation is tax-deductable. It just takes a few minutes to make a secure donation by PayPal using your credit card. Click the donate button to make a donation. You do not need a PayPal account. Select the amount of your donation and how you want to pay either by means of your PayPal account or your Credit Card then go to the next page. If you want to make a donation in the name of another person, for a special reason like a birthday or anniversary or for a special purchase such as a 2014 calendar just describe what you want on the PayPal form. Click on the "Add Special Instructions to the Seller" and describe what you want with names and addresses if needed.
Refer to our SUPPORT page for more ways to support your Sanctuary such as sponsoring a pig, being a sustainer, getting the sanctuary credit card, or double or triple your donation by using your company's matching gift program.
Winter Is Here!!!
Winter is here across the country. This winter is suppose to be colder than normal so take special care with your outdoor animals.
Don't forget to provide a dry, cozy, warm, shelter, shade, a sunny area and plenty of water for all of your pets. Even in the winter it can be hot in the sun so make sure you have shade and sunny areas. It can be cold at night so a good warm shelter is appreciated by all your critters.
Best Friends' Article on the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary
Best Friends, in their News and Features page have written an article about the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary. Click on the image to the left to read the article.
Introductory Video of the Sanctuary.Click on the link below to view an introductory video of the Sanctuary. Click the lower right hand corner of the video for full screen. Depress the escape key to return from full screen.
From the President
Over the past months and years we have written a lot about the “micro mini” and “teacup” pig craze that is ?We have reached another milestone. It is our fifteen year Anniversary. What were my expectations when we started and how have they been right or wrong? Having volunteered for nearly two years at another pig rescue, now our Annex, I was pretty familiar with pigs and their personalities. I had worked in the animal rights community for many years, so I had a strong commitment to animal rights and their welfare. Ben and I had a property we had agreed to sell as start up money to get us started. We had both retired so we could work full time building the sanctuary and working there. So things looked good and we saw the green light. We had fallen in love with the pigs where we volunteered and knew there was a need and possibly an impending disaster if we did not move ahead. We were correct about this since we bought what is now our Annex in 2003 in foreclosure and had taken nearly 100 pigs from there during 2001 and 2002.
Overall we had much more wrong than right. We thought our numbers would remain in control by adoption and attrition. We thought we could supplement our income with grants and by boarding pigs. We thought the pig fad was pretty much over and soon there would not be so many needing homes. We were wrong about all of the above. Pigs live much longer than I thought, not 10 to 12 years but more like 14 to 18 years and sometimes beyond, needing much more care along that path. Good adoptive homes are rare, not many people board pigs and grants are elusive. Instead of the pig fad fading it is back in spades with the “micro mini” fad.
So what expectations were right? We have saved well over a thousand lives including all the pigs at our Annex whom we had grown to love. We have not just saved their lives but have given them a place to call home and lifetime companions to live out their natural lives with in peace. Of all expectations these are the ones that count the most and why we are still here. We have also provided comfort to so many people who have had to give up their pig or pigs and were so afraid there would not be a good safe home for them. One expectation not on our list that has been fulfilling is the many volunteers who take great pleasure in helping out pigs and visitors who have so much fun coming to visit our sanctuary and our pigs. Our commitment to these animals has never wavered although the path has been so much more difficult than I could have ever prepared myself for. The tasks are monumental and the physical and mental stresses are sometimes overwhelming.
But never in my wildest dreams could I have had the expectation that we would have so many wonderful supporters who would be willing to support our nearly 600 pigs. Everyone told us no one wanted to help pigs, only cats and dogs. Thanks to all of you, the naysayers were wrong. You have delivered fifteen years of success to our sanctuary and made it possible to have a wonderful pig home that we all can be proud of. Thank you for fifteen good years.
President & Co-Founder
Ironwood Celebrates Fourteen Years!
Shown here are many of our first pigs five years after our opening in June of 2001. Many of you are making this journey with us and you may recognize many of them from issues past.
You may click on a picture to see a larger version.
June 10, 2001 we officially opened the doors of the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary. Claire and Popeye arrived that evening. Then on June 11th Misty and Tully came, June 12th Owen and Taylor, June 14th a litter of babies, June 15th Oreo came to our home and June 30th Blossom arrived along with Eddie and Flapjack. That rounded out our first month and filled the 8 pens we had constructed at that time, and the overflow went to our home and introduced me to my dear beloved Oreo.
Soon thereafter Pearl, Princess, Bubba, Mr. Pibb, Arnold, Benjamin and Oliver, Desiree, Pammy, Corky and so many others followed them. We built more pens and they were soon full, and we anxiously awaited the completion of our large 6-acre field. With a sigh of relief, our field was completed in early Oct. 2001 and we began the hard process of releasing our pigs out of the pens and into the fields. This is never an easy task since pigs sometimes fight furiously for their position in the herd, so these first few days were a prelude of what was to come and the beginning of subdividing our new large field to suit the capabilities and ages of our new family.
Since those early days in 2001 so much has changed. Our facility has grown and we now have a good well and storage for 40,000 gals of water. We hope to have power by this summer, and our staff continues to grow to meet the growing needs of our pigs. A large herd of pigs arrived from Pigs*A*Lot in January of 2002, as well as a small herd of less-able pigs from there. These became our East and West fields. Ben, Donna, and I had volunteered there and some of those pigs, like my Wilma, were the reason Ironwood became a reality. I had come to love some of the pigs so much and as Pigs*A*Lot grew to overflowing and more calls came in to take pigs we decided the only solution was for us to open another sanctuary. Of course this was not the solution nor will it ever be. The only solution is to stop the breeding, which we try to do every time we have the opportunity.
The years passed and more homeless pigs arrived and more field divisions were made. Nineteen arrived from a sanctuary near Phoenix and 7 from a large Florida rescue. In May of 2003 we purchased the Annex property, previously Pigs*A*Lot, where we had our beginnings, and our family grew by nearly 90 pigs. In July of 2004 St. Matilda’s was unable to continue and our family grew by 46, and in September of 2004 the final 30 pigs from Pigs*A*Lot were back home at our Annex.
We now have nearly 600 pigs living at our two facilities. We continue to take in more pigs as we find homes for others and are making every effort to keep our numbers stable. In all, over these eleven years, well over 1000 pigs have been a part of Ironwood. Many have gone on to new homes and others have lived out their lives with us. We have been happy and fortunate to provide them a safe nurturing environment for the rest of their journey. Our lives are now co-mingled and we are making the journey together.
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