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The Promise of A Better Life

More than 70 animals are rescued in North Carolina as the New Year brings our first rescue mission of 2010

Images by Kathy Milani/The HSUS

by Scotlund Haisley

The HSUS Animal Rescue Team continues our mission to confront animal cruelty wherever it exists. On Tuesday, January 5, we teamed up with Greene County Animal Control to rescue more than 70 animals from inhumane and unsanitary conditions on a Waltonsburg, North Carolina farm.


When our team arrived on the property it looked more like a trash dump than anything else. Thick smoke billowed from a pile of garbage burning in the center of the lot. Jagged chunks of broken glass and piles of rusty auto parts littered the area.

The pigs had been living in mud up to their armpits, unable to reach solid ground or water sources. When the ground froze over, one sow was actually frozen into the muck. Animal Control officers managed to free her before we arrived.

The animals’ dangerous environment and obvious neglect led to multiple health conditions. The fowl were underweight and missing feathers. One pig was suffering from an untreated broken leg. Fortunately, we arrived in time to save 28 pigs, three horses, two goats, 30 chickens, six geese and four turkeys from a potentially life-threatening situation.

After a cold day of calming nervous piglets, gently capturing frazzled geese and rounding up unruly sows, our team headed back to the emergency shelter. We could see an immediate difference in their disposition once the animals were settled in warm, clean stalls.

There is no better way to ring in the New Year than by looking into the eyes of helpless animals and making them the promise that they will suffer no longer. We dedicate 2010 to ending the suffering of even more animals.

Scotlund Haisley is senior director of Emergency Services for The HSUS.

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