If it seems like a small miracle that Rita the pig broke out of her cage on the way to the slaughterhouse, the fact that she then proceeded to jump off of the truck, land safely on the ground and find refuge should qualify as divine intervention.
As if that wasn't unbelievable enough, Rita's luck continued when a passerby reported her to animal control, who then brought her to Sacramento County Animal Shelter, where she gave birth to nine healthy, adorable piglets. Talk about a leap of faith.
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Although the vast majority of Rita's piglets are alive and well, her litter originally totaled 14 babies -- five of her newborns didn't make it. It's easy to recognize the situation as a whole as one of luck and joy, but it is likely that these poor babies didn't survive due to stress.
It raises the question -- did Rita know where she was being taken? Animal Place, an animal rescue organization, says yes: Pigs can tell when they're heading to slaughter. After learning of the situation and waiting the allotted amount of time for an owner to claim its animals, Animal Place swooped in and rescued the 10 pigs.
On a nicer note, thanks to ABC10 for featuring Rita's incredible leap for freedom that saved her life and that of her 9...
Thanks to this devoted sanctuary, Rita and her babies now have 600 acres to live freely and, more importantly, safely.
%shareLinks-quote="The piglets are thriving under Rita's gentle care. They enjoy special heat lamps at night and frolicking outside with mama during the day. Watching them grow, enjoy life -- all under the watchful eye of their mom -- is heartwarming." type="quote" author="Animal Place" authordesc="" isquoteoftheday="false"%
While Rita, rightfully so, is still not completely comfortable with humans being around her and her babies, she is warming up to her amazing rescuers "especially when [they] bring her grapes and cantaloupe!"
Click here to make a donation to Animal Place for the prospect of saving more animal lives!
It's safe to say that Rita is officially the BAE of pigs.
Check out the adorable way this animal rescue organization raised money for its cause: