In October of 2013, Gadsden Humane Society in Alabama had taken in an adult pig. She had been found wandering the streets and was estimated to be about four years old. Understandably, she was very scared of people and wouldn’t let anybody near her. As the Humane Society was unable to house pigs, they placed a call to David and Mandi Tidwell to see if their sanctuary had any available space. Fortunately, the Tidwells were able to house her. They went to that shelter expecting to rescue a pig, what they found upon arrival was a real wild child. The pig was not aggressive, she just had that unfortunate combination of feeling extremely terrified as well as being quite quick. It took the Tidwells nearly an hour just to get her in the crate.

But catch her, they did. They named her Stella and she was a member of the original herd who had been formed under the name Pigs are People too, before the sanctuary had expanded into Hooves Marching for Mercy. Stella was an extremely overweight pig, to place her on a diet before they could spay her.  Through much patience and care from the Tidwells, Stella had grown from a timid pig into a bossy lady. She knew what she wanted, when she wanted it. Underneath it all, however, was a genuine sweetness. What began as a pig too afraid to even be touched, blossomed into one who loved people and would accept occasional belly rubs from Mandi only, but only by invitation.

They say that it’s only the good who die young. Tragically, there appears to be truth to that old adage. In November of 2015, when Stella was only six years old, she passed away. Despite the unseasonably warm weather, Stella was hypothermic, and her abdomen was very tender. As she was rushed to the vet she went into a state of shock. The vets found that she had had multiple organ failure from unknown causes. There was nothing they could do to save her. The veterinarians did the only thing they could, they humanely ended her pain and she peacefully passed over that rainbow bridge in Mandi's arms.

Though the first four years of her life will forever remain a mystery, for the last two years, she was loved. The people who were blessed enough to know her knew a wonderful pig filled with life and personality. Her first belly rub, her first time in a house, the first time she willingly let the Tidwells pet her will forever be a source of comfort for those who worked so hard to make her so happy, even if only for a little while.