Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blog the Change for Animals: A Sunrise Sanctuary Follow-Up

It's time for the quarterly Blog the Change for Animals bloghop and today I'm following up with the organization I wrote about on the Blog the Change homepage back in April. I didn't plan to write about Sunrise Sanctuary again but something happened back in June that made me feel like I simply had to once again spread the word about the wonderful people who make the sanctuary a home to nearly 200 abused, neglected, and unwanted farm animals.

On June 8, 2015 a truck carrying thousands of piglets crashed on a state route near Xenia, Ohio, which is about an hour away from my hometown of Cincinnati. I found the headline so disturbing that I couldn't stand to read any articles about the crash, but did see that hundreds of the pigs were killed immediately while the rest were rounded up to continue on their way to their ultimate destination, a slaughter house.

I would not have expected something heartwarming and life-affirming to come out of something so upsetting to read about, but that is exactly what has happened. As it turned out, one little pig survived the crash and wasn't rounded up with the others. Instead, he was found tangled in the wreckage by a Good Samaritan who managed to get the piglet to Sunrise Sanctuary.

Little Nathan sleeping with his toys not long after he arrived at Sunrise. Photo courtesy of Sunrise Sanctuary

Mindy Mallett, the founder of Sunrise, took the piglet under her wing and named him Nathan after Nathan Runkle, the founder of Mercy For Animals. Though traumatized and suffering from a respiratory illness that required hospitalization at the Ohio State University veterinary hospital, Nathan managed to thrive. He now charms everyone he meets.

The darling piglet has become a social media star and I can't deny that his pictures and updates are one of my favorite things that I see in my Facebook newsfeed. My sister and I plan to visit Sunrise next month and we can't wait to meet little Nathan.

When I first visited Sunrise back in April the farm reminded me of a real life Charlotte's Web or Babe. Now the little piglet named Nathan has only added to that feeling. Sunrise is definitely a place like no other and one that will bring a smile to anyone who visits it.

If you'd like to learn more about Sunrise Sanctuary and the amazing work they do for animals, visit their site or find them on Facebook.

If you're interested in joining the Blog the Change hop add your name to the list below and hop around to check out some of the other bloggers. :)


  1. He's a cutie! Hmm, maybe Nate and Clancy need a new friend? :)

  2. How sad, and yet so sweet that nathan has thrived. I know my neighbor Margaret is a real joy. I find myself giving her apples and talking to her about my day. Thank god for Sunrise!

  3. Aw, what a cutie! I'm glad he's found a good home.

  4. @Madeline, oh my gosh, I can't imagine the chaos that would bring to my house LOL.

    @Yolanda, aww, I wish I had a pig neighbor! How cute.

    @Sarah, isn't he the cutest? I wish I could snuggle him. :)

  5. Great post. So happy for Nathan but so heartbroken for the other pigs.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

  6. What a precious little angel. So very thankful he managed to escape such a horrific fate.

  7. What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing this story, Julie.

  8. He's a social media star? That's crazy--and sweet at the same time.

  9. Awwww. He is a cute little piggie! I'm glad he survived and made it out alright.

  10. @Marie, I know, I feel the same.

    @Melissa, isn't he precious?

    @Laura, thank you for reading it!

    @Crystal, I may have exaggerated a little LOL but everyone who follows Sunrise is in love with him. Everyone loves his photos and videos, he's so darn cute. :)

  11. That is a little ray of sunshine in that sad story. I know how you feel. Sometimes it's so hard to read stories about bad things happening to animals.

  12. @Loni, me too. :)

    @Kari, definitely. I never would have imagined anything positive could come out of it but Nathan is such a little doll.

  13. What an amazing story for such a little guy! Thanks so much for sharing this. :)

  14. @Sheri, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

  15. Sunrise Sanctuary sounds like a wonderful place, and the people running it are real heroes. Also being from Cincinnati, I remember seeing news about the crash on TV and being sickened by it. I had heard a piglet was rescued, but didn't know he had ended up with such a nice life, so thanks for sharing the story. Hope you enjoy your return visit to the farm. It's nice you can share that experience with your sister this time.

  16. Awe he's adorable. I'm glad they managed to save him.

  17. I love this story!!! God, it's so nice to read about people doing good in the world. I know it's out there, but the news is always so awful. Sunrise really does sound like an amazing place. Please post pictures after you go!

  18. That IS a great story.
    Love the picture, too. :)

  19. Whenever we went to a county fair, I always thought the baby piglets were the cutest critters there. All pink and fuzzy...

    I'm glad Nathan's tale (and tail!) are enjoying a happy ending. Your Sunrise sounds a lot like our Noah's Ark here. The house and rehab a lot of wild animals there, too. Like the lion, tiger, and bear, who actually live together in a single compound. It's really something to see them playing around and nuzzling each other.

  20. I heard about the crash. Poor piglets! It made me so sad.

    Sunrise Sanctuary is amazing! And Nathan is so cute. This warmed my heart. Thanks for sharing, Julie!

  21. Aww! Nathan is one lucky pig. It's so sad to think that the ones that weren't killing in the crash were taken to a slaughter house.

  22. I'm so glad he was rescued.


  23. What a wonderfully sweet story! And the name - Nathan - after the founder of Mercy for Animals?? Precious!!! This sounds like a place that's well-deserving of our promotion and donations. And like it'd be an awesome place to visit.

    Thank you for blogging - and being - the change for animals!
    Be the Change for Animals
    CindyLu's Muse

  24. What a horrific accident!

    I grew up on a hog farm. My father raised 5,000+ hogs a year, all sent to market.

    But, when there were piglets rejected by the sow, we kids raised them. Usually there was some physically wrong and the piglets died early. But until then, they were well-loved.

  25. Wow, I am so jealous you get to meet cutie Nathan... that story made my day Julie :) But I do feel bad for the others that went to a sad destination.

  26. @Julie, if you ever get the chance to visit Sunrise I'd definitely recommend it - it's worth the drive from Cincy. :)

    @Misha, isn't he? <3

    @Liz, I totally agree and I will definitely share pics!

    @Melissa, I know, he's so adorable sleeping with his toys LOL.

    @Susan, oh, that sounds like an amazing place! I'd love to visit there. And honestly I'm surprised that animals who are all predators can get along so well - that's really cool.

    @Chrys, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

    @Cherie, I know, I hate to think about that part.

    @Janie, me too. :)

    @Kim, I'm so glad to be part of BtC now. :)

    @Susan, it really was and just so gruesome to imagine. Aww, it must have been fun taking care of those piglets when you were a kid.

    @Emilyann, I can't wait to meet him, I'm totally in love with him LOL. :)

  27. Aww. Poor little piglets. :( At least one is a star now! Thanks for sharing and have a lovely weekend!

  28. One little piggie found a great home. Kudos to his rescuer.

  29. @Lexa, thanks and I hope you had a great weekend too!

    @Carol, I second that. :)

  30. Now that is one lucky piglet! I'm thinking about Charlotte's Web right now.

  31. Hi Julie,

    I'm so late getting here. So pleased the one little piglet, Nathan, survived, thrived and became a celebrity pig in the finest sense of the word. Heartened for all the work Sunrise Sanctuary does.

    I'm also very aware of "Blog the Change for Animals" and the great work that's done. Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar and I, are honoured to know CindyLu and her human, Kim, also part of this notable blog hop. Yes, a notable blog hop! :)

    Thanks for this, Julie.

    Penny's alleged human,


  32. I love this story! What a sweet baby. I hope you'll share another picture of Nathan after you get to meet him.


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