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.
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
When you get this newsletter we will be at the beginning of our hot 8 months ahead. While I mourn the passing of the winter months, some here, like Donna and Tim love the heat. Even though we experienced several days of deep-freezing weather with many broken water pipes, I will take that any day over the 110-degree-plus temperatures we experience in the summer. But alas, moving the sanctuary is not really an option, and without Ironwood here in Arizona where would all the future Miss Piggys or Chandlers go to live?
In this issue you will read an update on our little Amber. She is such a joy for sure and oh so spoiled. Our next challenge will be to get her to learn to live with others of her kind so she can run free out of her pen forever. Your outpouring of love and support has truly been overwhelming. Thank you all so much, not just for her but for all of your support for all of our pigs these past months. Ben did the budget for this next year and every year we see a rise in our expenses. We have more special foods and medicines to prepare, more medicines to buy and more medical procedures to do. We have a need for more employees to care for all these pigs and their needs.
We try to make reasonable decisions about who we can save, like Amber, and who receives palliative care to ease their final days when we know there is nothing we can do for them. We have learned a lot about who will benefit from the care of our vets and who will not. We always try to err on the side of giving our pig a chance if we believe there is a chance. We know that pigs experience many of the same emotions that we experience, which makes our decisions and evaluations even more difficult.
We have included in this issue some writings from others across the country who have learned about and from pigs. I want to thank them for allowing us to reprint their stories and I believe these stories will give you more insights to pigs as well. Lorelei Pulliam’s article about her Annie Mae reinforces my belief that all beings deserve respect and a life free from oppression and abuse. We know that these emotions felt by our pigs are not unique to them. All animals have emotions like ours and our pigs. Martin Luther King once said, “One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them.”
President and Co-Founder
Joey, Barnabus, Boss Hog
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.
Animal Care Providers (There are no live-in job openings at this time. However, we are looking for an animal care person that lives in the area. If you are interested please e-mail your interest and experience along with a contact phone number to Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in the live-in position please let us know and we will keep you in mind for future openings.)
WANTED: Trustworthy, caring person who loves animals to live at and work at the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary, a non-profit pot bellied pig sanctuary located near Marana, AZ, a rural area of southern Arizona one hour drive north of Tucson. Experience with working with animals and medical knowledge is a plus. The ability to work with others is necessary.
This is HARD work. Job duties include, but are not limited to, cleaning pens and fields, feeding, hands-on care of pigs who are disabled, injured, or sick, or general animal care and help with trimming tusks and hoofs. Handling 50# bags of feed and assisting with moving bales of hay to the various feeding stations. Must be willing to work some weekends and holidays as necessary. Five day work week is standard.
Housing is free and consists of a 40 foot completely self contained 5th wheel trailer. Utilities are provided. TV and high-speed internet access are available in all accommodations.
40 Foot 5th Wheel
References and background are checked. No drugs period. Non-smoker. Vegetarian preferred.
The Ironwood Pig
Sanctuary is located in Marana, Arizona on 80 acres in a beautiful
Sonoran desert habitat. The climate is moderate in winter and hot in
summer. Summer daytime temperatures can be in the 100's with nighttime
temperatures in the 60's-70's. The surrounding mountains are perfect
for hiking. Southern Arizona is a premier bird watching area.
We are looking for a dedicated person who is ready to commit to the care of unwanted and abused pot bellied pigs. Is that YOU?
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.