Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Piggy Resort and Spa in Pennsylvania

Many vacationers may have stayed at a Hampton Inn and Suites before, but I’m sure they’ve never been afforded the royal treatment as many pet swine have had while staying at Ross Mill Farm Piggy Resort and Spa. This specialty “Ham-ton Hotel” sports spa facilities equivalent to the most luxurious of those created for humans. The guests, however, are all pigs—yes, real porkers—pot-bellied pigs that don’t put up a stink at this place.

Not only does Ross Mill Farm Piggy Resort and Spa cater to the spoiled swine pet, who may be staying while his or her owner is on vacation, but this farm, located outside of Doylestown, PA, also serves as a transitional home between homelessness and acquiring a regular, long-term home with caring and informed human companions. For instance, Ross Mill’s owners, Susan and Richard Magidson, together with the organization, Pig Placement Network, offer assistance to people looking to re-home their pigs or adopt a pet pig. In addition, they supply educational information to adoptees to better serve their new porcine partners. PPN and Ross Mill Farm even help people deal with problem porcine situations in order to facilitate the pig’s staying in his or her home. For people interested in becoming a companion person for a new adult or young pig, Susan assists with easing both the human and the pig into a compatible and loving relationship.

Susan says about PPN and Ross Mill’s role in helping those wanting a pet pig, “Sometimes a person will want to adopt a pig but has no idea that pigs need to be able to play and run outdoors. Pet pigs are mostly indoor pets and use a litter box as cats do. They need careful feeding and wise snacking. Fattening goodies are unwise choices because pigs gain weight so quickly, so adopters need to know to feed a low-calorie pot-belly pig feed soaked with plenty of water. And, of course, people need to check their zoning laws and have access to good veterinary care—all before taking a pig home.” Susan says, “I try to help people with any and all problems because we want the adoption process to go as seamlessly as possible-- we want the person to feel comfortable and somewhat expert in pig care so that the pig doesn’t end up in an adoptive situation again.”

A trip to the Magidsons’ “Ham-ton Hotel” is inspiring. Outside the main lodging runs the main street-path separating the rows of single-dwelling pig homes and properties. Some swiners at Ross Mill prefer outdoor living; they’re more the camping type, but their facilities are no less attractive than those residing in the complex’s main inn. In the newly built lodge, rows upon rows of pig rooms line the perimeter of this “hotel for hogs.” Eighty of the 150 pigs housed on the property belong to Pig Placement Network and have come there after being rescued. Most all of them find themselves in a re-homing situation that, until they find that ideal human who finds them irresistible, pampers them with respect, friendship, and love.

Any visitor interested in meeting a prospective adoptee will find themselves in an atmosphere where pigs come first. From her office in the lodge, Susan networks with people needing assistance adopting or re-homing a pig. Young pigs play and sleep at her feet as Susan works, and outside her office, a few pigs walk the aisles exploring and meeting others of their own kind. Occasionally, one hears snorting and squeals from two pigs arguing over the same blanket, but in a building that houses up to 70 pigs, this is a rare event. More often one only hears quiet and an occasional contented grunt muffled beneath a quilt.

Withinbn the lodge, pet pigs visiting Ross Mill Farm Piggy Resort and Spa have use of a veterinary treatment room for minor surgeries and hoof trims. Another room is the Piggy Spa where vacationing swiners enjoy scented baths, ear and eye cleansing, and even whole body massages. No luxury accommodations are too good for Ross Mill pig guests.

Ross Mill Farm Piggy Resort and Spa is in the business, not of rescuing pigs, but of re-homing pigs, vacationing pigs, dieting over-weight pigs, and providing pig-sitting services. Susan’s and Richard’s goals emphasize educating prospective pig owners in the quirks and needs of caring for a pot-belly pig so that the animal becomes appreciated and never has to be surrendered to a rescue.

Ross Mill Farm and Pig Placement Network gladly receive donations as well as supplies like blankets, dishes, soaps, cleansers, Clorox, shovels, rakes, and a supply of carrots and grapes. Check out both websites: http://www.rossmillfarm.com/ for a pictorial farm tour and http://www.pigplacementnetwork.com/.

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