Born 14 August 2011, Gunther was confined to a 16x16 fenced in area of concrete, with only a little bit of dirt in which to root or wallow. He had no bedding or shelter and was kept with a pack of dogs with whom he would compete for food. At feeding time, his people would toss dog food out the door and Gunther was forced to try and grab what he could from the hungry dogs. As a result, the poor guy was extremely small and emaciated. Gunther existed in that environment for three years-- for no one can call that experience “living.”
In August 2014, a friend of the Tidwells became aware of Gunther and his situation. She confronted the owners and with the appropriate mixture of charm and cunning, she convinced them to surrender Gunther. He joined the Hooves Marching for Mercy family on 14 August 2014. The Tidwells were shocked at how small and underweight he was. He was the most malnourished pig they had seen up to that point. It would take a while, but over time he managed to gain an extra 20 pounds and grow longer in size.
As is often the case with cruelty and neglect cases, Gunther was still intact. The extra testosterone put him into overdrive, and with his past history of abuse, he would attack anyone who came near him. The first order of business was to neuter him, which helped calm him down immensely. With the surgery out of the way, Gunther began his behavioral modification training. The Tidwells would gradually and gently move into his space, allowing him to see that not every person was dangerous. He resisted at first, but eventually he would allow the Tidwells into his area. It wasn’t too much longer that he allowed them into his heart.
The combination of time, patience, and love, as well as a little help from the ambassador pig, Willie, made Gunther the pig he is today. Now Gunther is a shy and sweet little pig. He loves a good rub down as well as his grooming sessions. He loves attention and can be quite jealous when other pigs are receiving care that he feels should be his. Gunther is an amazing little guy who has come such a long way in his life. The Tidwells could not be prouder of their special little pig.
Gunther is currently awaiting a sponsor.