Safe Haven for Pigs in Sonoma County, CA
Located on the Russian River, When Pigs Fly Ranch is a place where pigs who've been abandoned, neglected or can't be cared for anymore can live out their lives in safety, peace and harmony. Because we're a small sanctuary, each pig is treated like a pet, and enjoys the love, care and belly rubs we give them every day!
News & Updates
We’re excited to feature our sweet boys! Meet Pumba, Sherman and Hansel, 3 adorable pot
belly pigs who came to us from very different situations.
When Pigs Fly Ranch is a Lifelong Dream Come True
I'm Marybeth Hall, and I decided to start When Pigs Fly Ranch in November 2016 when I met a 400-pound pig and fell in love. I've been doing animal rescue since the '90s, volunteering for dog and cat rescue organizations, serving on the board of directors of a prominent San Francisco senior dog rescue group – Muttville – and rescuing dogs and cats as pets.
Since I was a child, I knew helping animals in need was my calling – a passion beyond just loving animals – more like feeling an absolute need to help them.
With lots of experience with dog and cat rescue, but none with pigs, I was fortunate to meet a woman who raised pigs for over 25 years when I was first considering starting When Pigs Fly Ranch. She helped us get set up and taught us the fundamentals of keeping pigs. We're also fortunate to have met many wonderful experts along the way, including vets, who have acted as mentors, advisors, and sounding boards throughout this journey.
A Rewarding Experience
I've been in the corporate world for over 20 years, but I've always felt that there is something bigger than just working in that environment. Starting an animal sanctuary, while a dream, has also been a big commitment, especially while running the company that my husband founded. But honestly, when I look into their eyes and scratch their heads or watch them roll over for a belly rub, I realize that what we as humans do for our furry or feathered friends goes beyond the words "I’m too busy”. So – learning to balance all of this is a challenge but more rewarding than anything I’ve ever done.
Flood and Fire
February of 2019 saw the decimation of When Pigs Fly Ranch by a 26-year flood. After three months, we recovered, with the animals living at Charlie’s Acres Sanctuary in Sonoma, our neighbor’s chicken coops, and one of our pot bellies in our back yard!
In August, 2020, the Walbridge Fire came within a mile of our sanctuary, and once again, the pigs and chickens were evacuated to Charlie’s Acres. This time, 4 dogs, 4 cats and 2 humans also spent 3 weeks in our camper, parked at Charlie’s Acres, while we awaited word we could return home.
Northern California's lifestyle is full of annual challenges during the fire season. At When Pigs Fly Ranch, we have the double whammy of flooding from the Russian River. But we stay the course, taking measures that are best for the animals during these challenges.
We express our gratefulness for the love and support we received from our friends. Huge thanks to Sonoma CART for help with the evacuations. If you’d like to help, please see our donation page! Contact us for more information.