Our annual Open House for 2013 was a fabulous success! The weather was beautiful, the food was great and close to 350 visitors came for tours of the sanctuary. Not only did our visitors have fun, but the pigs thoroughly enjoyed all the special attention and snacks too, especially Arnold who was this year’s “mascot” and hung around out front to greet everyone.
Not only did we have sponsors come from all over Arizona to visit their special pigs, there were sponsors from Colorado, New Hampshire, Texas and Michigan here as well! The couple from Texas even showed up in a limousine! It is always so interesting to meet all the people that help support the sanctuary and share in their excitement as they see all the pigs and fields. There were many familiar faces from past Open Houses along with lots of new faces.
A great time was had by all! If you missed this year’s event, make plans for next year. Open House rolls around every year in early November. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped to make Ironwood’s 2013 Open House such a great success. And a big thanks to all the visitors, supporters and sponsors who brought such joy and happiness to all our pigs!
Plan a Visit to the Sanctuary
PLEASE DO NOT VISIT THE SANCTUARY WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT, THANK YOU.
Please plan ahead for your visit, particularly if you are visiting from out of state and are only here for a few days.
The best way to arrange a visit is to send us an e-mail with your preferred day to visit. We try to accommodate every one but are not always able to do so. Visits to the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary are by appointment only. We have one tour on the days we are open for visitors. These tours start at 10am in the wi/nter and 9am in the summer. We are not available to accept visitors every day due to things like shortage of staff, monthly vet visit, trips to rescue animals, major projects or other reasons where we do not have the time or staff to show the visitors the sanctuary. A typical visit to the sanctuary takes about 2 hours, not including travel time. It is not practical to just come and look around. Our pigs are in large fields scattered over 15 acres. Your enjoyment will be much better if you are able to have a safe visit and pet some pigs.
Even if you think you know how to get here I would recommend that you review the directions on our "Contact Us" page because road conditions may have changed. Do not use any mapping programs or your GPS because the data base they all use is not correct and may not be updated with the latest information. We are in a very rural area and you need to use our directions.
For those who have been here before you will be glad to know that we have had our lane graded and it is great!
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. 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.
Double Or Triple Your Donation
You can easily make your donation to the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary go even further if you work for a matching gift company. Many employers will double and sometimes triple their employees’ or retirees’ charitable contributions. You can also use a donation that you have made recently.
Simply request a matching gift form from the personnel department of your employer, fill it out and mail it to us with your donation or use it for one of your past donations. Your gift, with your employer’s match will go further toward taking care of the 600 pot-bellied pigs at the Sanctuary.
We have a sponsor who chose to pay her $30 a month sponsor donation this year with a $360 check for the entire year. She included a matching gift form from her employer and doubled her gift to $720!!
Another supporter either works for or is retired from AIG and her donation was matched TWO for ONE resulting in triple her donation!!
Harold makes occasional $50 donations and includes a copy of his employer’s matching gift form every time to double his gift to $100!
Some of our other supporters, like Harold, copy their employer’s matching gift form and use it every time they make a donation.
You can see if your company does matching gifts by going to the bottom of our Support page (click on Support above left) within this website. Or you can also check with your personnel department. Check it out even if you are retired from your company.
Summer Is Here!!!
Summer is finally here across the country.
Don't forget to provide a dry, cozy, shelter, shade and plenty of water for all of your pets. Even in a cold climate it can be hot in the sun! And in a hot climate it can be cold at night. So a good shelter is always 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
We have come full circle once again with the holiday season approaching us, a time of good will and a message of Peace on Earth. As I write this letter it is the International Day of Peace. Those celebrating this day say there is so much hope in the world. And we are part of it! Those celebrating today want to allow the possibility for a new way of relating together as ONE PEOPLE. I have hope also on this day. My hope is that we will not only come together as One People but as One with all life. This is not an easy concept since it is hard to accept even different cultures among humans. To expand that to accept the “cultures” of other sentient beings is even more difficult. But they do have cultures of their own. When one lives with nearly 600 pigs day and night it becomes obvious they have their own vocal language, body language, behaviors, social groups, and friends and enemies who make up their “culture” and it is complex as is ours. It becomes impossible to not think of all other sentient beings as part of the Whole and to harm one of them is like harming one of our own. We are far from the same but we share nearly all the same emotions. One only has to watch a mother pig fiercely defending her babies, or a pig gently nuzzling and lying next to a companion who has departed, or babies of all kinds playing with one another to know we are all one and the hope for Peace should be extended to all beings.
Changing the minds of people to visualize peace and respect for all beings is difficult, but I do know that the process has begun with you who help our pigs. Your many wonderful notes, letters, and donations let us know how you feel about animals, pigs in particular. There are millions of others who are kindred spirits but we must continue to spread the word to all we know. As people learn more about the social structures, emotions, intelligence and family bonds of animals, maybe they will begin to think that we all share the same desire; to live in peace and with respect.
The pigs at Ironwood have been able to form the social groups of their choice and the freedom to develop their unique culture and express their feelings at the sanctuary. When I saw Huey grazing on the remaining hay this afternoon in our main field with his life long friend and brother Louie, I realized what a special place Ironwood has become to the pigs in our care. And I know that when the day is done and these two pigs are snuggled together in their shelter they will be content and at peace. Thank you for helping to make this happen and Happy Holidays!
President and Co-Founder
Ironwood Celebrates Twelve 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
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
Pigs in the East field
Pigs in the West field
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.
Pigs from St. Matilda’s
More of the St. Matilda’s rescue
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.
Ironwood Pig Sanctuary, PO Box 35490, Tucson, AZ 85740-5490
Please e-mail when you want to visit for confirmation on the day and time and for directions to the sanctuary since we are in a remote location and GPS and mapping programs are not accurate. We generally do tours Saturday mornings at 10am in the winter and 9am in the summer. However, we generally do not do tours during our hottest months of June, July and August. We do not do tours every Saturday so you need to get a confirmation for your visit. Sometimes we can do tours on other days for out of town visitors and for other circumstances. Our Open House for 2013 is Saturday November 9th from 11AM to 3PM.