Bright Spot: Bristol woman opens mini pig sanctuary

Bristol woman opens mini pig sanctuary
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BRISTOL, Conn. (WFSB) - A woman in Bristol has dedicated her life to helping one special kind of animal.

Some people rescue dogs, others rescue cats, but Cara Hennessey rescues pigs.

“I’ve never bonded with an animal like I have with a pig.”

It started three years ago. “I’m originally from Branford, born and raised, and my best friend had a family farm. One day, I was at work, and she called me and said she was at this farm and had some pigs.”

That was how ‘Clover’ came into her life. “I fell in love. They’re very emotional beings. They feel emotion; they can be depressed, they can be happy, they recognize faces, they remember you.”

As Cara dove deeper into researching the animals, she discovered there were more than she realized that needed homes. “There’s over 300 rescues across the U.S. There’s a couple in the state of CT. They focus on ALL farm animals.”

And that’s what propelled her to create ‘Clover’s Pig Preserve,’ a small non-profit mini pig sanctuary.

But the word ‘mini’ she says is a bit of a misconception. “People hear mini, and they think “tiny,” but it doesn’t mean “tiny.” It just means in comparison to a farm pig.”

Cara’s pigs were living at a farm in Branford, but when she moved to Bristol, her sanctuary officially started down the road, just over the Wolcott line at the Pillwillop Therapeutic Farm.

“And they offer free-to-no-cost therapy to the community. They have chickens and ducks right now on the property, and they let people go in the chicken pen and duck pen and sit in there.”

So, when Cara’s pigs came along, the farm’s counselors became trained for pig therapy.

“The pigs will flop over for a belly rub. If you go in there and you sit down, they’ll come right over looking for attention.”

Cara and her boyfriend primarily fund the care for the pigs. “We built their shelters and everything from scratch with the help from some of our friends and some volunteers.”

But as you can imagine, it is a big financial undertaking, which is why they welcome donations from the community with open arms. “We get people that stop by either to donate cash donations, or they drop by, and they give snacks or blankets.”

Cara’s goal is to have her visitors know more about the amazing animals than when they first arrived.

“We want to make people aware of what pigs are about, and that they’re not dirty animals, and they’re not insensitive. They have real emotions. They’ll cry real tears if they’re upset.”

But the pigs at ‘Clover’s Pig Preserve’ are happy, thanks to Cara.