A Pig’s Tale: The porker in Marshfield that’s hanging (and pigging) out at the senior apartments

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 7:03 PM CDT
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MARSHFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Marshfield Seniors Apartments are not far from downtown or the main drag that runs from Interstate 44 into town. But there is a wooded area just behind the complex where feral cats have been known to hang out, and Rescue One, the foster-based rescue service out of Springfield, has been helping to catch them.

But just over two weeks ago, 72-year-old Sue Jutting, a resident at the apartments, saw something different when she looked out her back porch into the woods.

“I was looking down this hill and saw this big snout sticking out,” she laughed. “I thought my glasses needed upgraded. I’m going, ‘Okay. that’s not right!’”

But she was right.

That snout belonged to a female pig weighing about 150-pounds, and Sue has basically become the pig’s foster parent, feeding her from a distance until the rightful owner comes along or someone else shows up to help.

So far the only help Sue can get is from Rescue One, who had already been on the property helping catch the feral cats.

“So Sue sent me a message asking me if I knew how to trap pigs,” said Jill Phillips, the Rescue One representative who’d been trapping the cats. “I was like, ‘Not really, but I’ll give it a go!’ So I came over and noticed the pig was not a potbelly, but a meat pig, and we started trying to feed her after I brought over a giant dog trap.”

“The pig had chocolate truffles yesterday,” Sue said. “Today, she’s getting Smurf jello. Grandma’s Chocolate Chips are her favorite. I can give her a cookie right out of my hand. She talks to me when she comes up. She grunts a lot. I’ll say, ‘Do you like that?’ and she’ll grunt back. My Pug dog hasn’t been too nuts about her, but he’s getting used to her.”

The feral cats weren’t too happy to see the pig either.

“The first time I came up here, the cats were surrounding the pig,” Jill recalled. “I felt like I was watching ‘Charlotte’s Web’ or something. I was waiting for a spider to drop down and say, ‘Some pig!’”

The nice food fest has not been enough to entice the pig into a two-and-a-half-foot tall cage.

“Pigs are smart,” Jill said. “And she obviously knows what a trap is.”

“She’s a sweetheart, but she doesn’t trust just anybody,” Sue added.

“Miss Piggy,” as Sue has dubbed her, has become quite the item at the apartment complex as other residents have brought food for Sue to feed the pig and taken lots of photos to share with family members.

The pig is a bit skittish, though, and runs back into a wooded area where she spends most of her time wallowing in a creek bed.

“She’ll roll around in that red mud and come back looking like a completely different pig,” Sue said of Miss Piggy’s transformation from pale white to auburn red.

But there is an urgency to catching her.

“There are coyotes and a mountain lion that’s been in and out of these woods,” Sue said. “And I don’t want anything happening to her.”

“Well, she’s not going to be too fast because Sue has fattened her up really well,” Jill said with a laugh. “So she’s slowed her down a little bit. But I also think with the way the economy is. You can’t trust people to not come kill her.”

“I can tell you that we’re not giving her to anybody that’s going to eat her,” Sue said.

No one knows where the pig came from. She doesn’t act like a pet, and there’s speculation that maybe she got loose at a nearby truck stop while being transported somewhere. There’s also the chance that she escaped from a farm. But she has no ear tags or markings, so Rescue One has already found a farm family who would like to adopt her as a pet.

“She does have a safe place to go,” Jill pointed out. “It’s just a matter of catching her.”

And once she is caught, Rescue One has already found a family farm for her to take up a new residence.

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