Richard & Laura Hoyle

11323 Scotts Mill Road
Culpeper,Virginia 22701

MINI-PIGS, Inc. is a non-profit, no-kill sanctuary dedicated to the rescue of abused, abandoned and neglected pigs.

All variety of pigs can be found at Mini-Pigs Sanctuary from small potbellied pigs to large Yorkshires like Earl

Welcome to the MiniPigs Sanctuary

Dear Friends: It with great sadness and a deep sense of loss that Laura and I announce the death of Paddy Murphy. Paddy died about 8 hours after a lengthy surgery yesterday to remove what was apparently a malignant 10 pound cervical tumor which had spread to her lymph glands and other parts of her anatomy.  She was also suffering from a closed pyometra which was unable to drain properly due to the presence of the large, cervical tumor. Paddy Murphy was our original pig and, possibly, one of the oldest surviving potbellied pigs in the country.  Paddy Murphy was purchased as a 4 week old piglet many years ago and served as the impetus for the beginning of our rescue work and, eventually, the formation of the sanctuary.

While we necropsy all pigs who die at the sanctuary, Paddy Murphy will not be necropsied.  We had wanted to bury her here at the sanctuary, but with our merger with Shepherd's Green Sanctuary and our eventual relocation of the sanctuary to TN, we have decided to have Paddy's remains cremated so that she can move with us to TN. Paddy was a dear friend and a fine pig.  It is because of her that many hundreds of other pigs have been rescued and saved over the years.  Words can not begin to express how much we loved Paddy nor can they express how sad we are at her death. It is a day we had long dreaded....knowing that, as with all living things, she must leave us eventually.

The world is a little sadder for her leaving us, but Rainbow Bridge is very much richer today. Our thanks and heartfelt appreciation for Dr. Tom Massie, Dr. Kim Cole, Dr. Betty Myers, Dr. Derek Vandrey, Dr. Monica O'Brien and all the staff at Rose Hill Veterinary Practice in Washington, VA who tried so valiantly to save our dear Paddy.  They, more than any others, know how much each pig means to us and how special Paddy was in our hearts.  Dr. Tom and his wonderful staff of vets, techs and office folks have saved the lives of many, many pigs over the years.  Dr. Cole, in particular, worked very hard to do what she could for Paddy and we appreciate her love, caring and professional abilities more than she will ever know. 

Richard and Laura Hoyle 

And then there were TWO .. a joining of Kingdoms  

“The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things: of shoes and ships and sealing wax…and cabbages and kings”

  Once upon a time there were two sanctuaries. One of them was located in the Kingdom of Virginia . The other was located in the more southern Kingdom of Tennessee .

The sanctuary in the Kingdom of Virginia was run by King Richard and was called Mini-Pigs Sanctuary. The sanctuary in the Kingdom of Tennessee was run by Queen Peggy and was called Shepherd's Green.

Both of these sanctuaries took in pigs…pigs who had been abused, abandoned and otherwise neglected. These sanctuaries brought in small pigs, big pigs, young pigs, old pigs, sick pigs and crippled pigs….pigs of every size, shape, color and disposition. They took in pigs that nobody else wanted.

And, at their sanctuaries, they gave the pigs good food, warm barns filled with hay and straw, fields to graze in and woods to play in, mud holes to wallow in on a hot day, and the company of other pigs to enjoy. They gave them medical attention and made them healthy, happy pigs. For those they could not help, they offered them a safe, secure place to die in peace and with dignity. But most of all these two sanctuaries gave the pigs love…. something that none of them had ever known before.

And life was good for the pigs in both kingdoms.

But the king and queen struggled to keep their sanctuaries alive and well. And they thought that there was much more that could be done for the pigs that nobody else wanted.

And so they began to talk. And, in talking, they discovered that they each had an undying love for the pigs and that each believed that more could be done by joining forces in one kingdom and working together for the pigs. The more they talked, the more certain they became that many of their pigs would be happy in a large, natural environment where they were free just to be pigs.

And, out of this thought and belief came the concept for a “pig preserve”…. a large piece of land full of woods, grassy fields, fruit and nut trees, running creeks, springs and ponds…where healthy, active pigs could live as pigs were meant to live with only minimal human intervention.

And so….the king and queen decided to join forces, combine their sanctuaries and dedicate themselves to making the “pig preserve” a reality.

Because land is cheaper and the cost of living is less in the Kingdom of Tennessee and the weather is more moderate, the King and Queen decided that it would be better for the pigs if the new sanctuary was located in the Kingdom of Tennessee rather than in the Kingdom of Virginia.

So, the two sanctuaries became one. Mini-Pigs Sanctuary in the Kingdom of Virginia has merged with Shepherd's Green Sanctuary in the Kingdom of Tennessee and will slowly move the pigs and other “stuff” south over the next year…with the first of the pigs relocating in October of 2005.

King Richard and Queen Peggy will jointly run the new sanctuary, which will continue to be called Shepherd's Green Sanctuary in the Kingdom of Tennessee .

As you can imagine, there is much to be done to make this fairy tale a reality. The pig preserve is an entirely new concept for the housing and care of pigs….and it will require a large tract of land, much fencing, many barns, equipment and other facilities. The preserve project is predicated on the premise that many rescued pigs will live happy, healthy lives in the preserve. But the preserve must be supported by at least one traditional sanctuary whose mission will be to care for those pigs who are not suited to preserve life as well as to care for those pigs who grow old, become infirmed or who are injured and who can no longer live well in the preserve.

The pig preserve will require money, innovation, experimentation and a lot of just plain hard work to make it happen. It will need many, many supporters. But, with support, the possibilities are endless. The new Shepherd's Green Sanctuary is the beginning of an entirely new concept in the rescue and care of pigs of all species.

Richard Hoyle, the director of Mini-Pigs Sanctuary has joined the new board of directors of Shepherd's Green Sanctuary as the Chairman of the Board and Sanctuary Director. Peggy Couey, the director of Shepherd's Green Sanctuary will act as the new sanctuary's Executive Director. Together, these two individuals bring well over 25 year's of experience in pig rescue and care into the project.

Both sanctuaries are long time members of the American Sanctuary Association (ASA) and Richard sits as a vice president and a member of the board of directors of the American Sanctuary Association. Each sanctuary has a long-standing reputation as a professional, well-run, efficient grass roots sanctuary.

Together, and with your support, the new Shepherd's Green sanctuary will be able to offer a home to many abused and unwanted pigs and provide each pig with a natural, safe and loving environment where each pig is free to live their life as pigs were meant to live.

If you are a current supporter of either sanctuary, we ask that you continue your support for our efforts to help the pigs.

If you are not a supporter of either Mini-Pigs Sanctuary or Shepherd's Green Sanctuary, we ask that you consider joining us in our effort to rescue and care for these marvelous, unique, intelligent and social animals. There are so many pigs in need and so few sanctuaries with space available to help all of them.

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Shepherd's Green Sanctuary

139 Copeland Lane

Cookeville , TN 38506

Last Updated 29th August 2004