A Farm Animal Sanctuary
On the Russian River, Sonoma County, CA
Flood and Fire…
In February of 2019 When Pigs Fly Ranch was decimated by a 26-year flood. It took 3 months to recover, 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 of 2020, the Walbridge Fire reached within a mile of our sanctuary, so once again, the animals were evacuated – again to Charlie’s Acres. This time the humans and house pets went too.
Living in Northern California brings challenges every year during fire season, and at When Pigs Fly Ranch we have the double whammy of flooding from the Russian River. But we stay the course and do what’s best for the animals during these challenges, and we’re beyond grateful for the love and support from our friends. If you’d like to help, please see our Donation Page!
Huge thanks also to Sonoma CART for help with the evacuations.
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 – Mutttville – 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. She’s been with us since the beginning when Piggy first made her home here! 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.
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.
Meet the animals
Fellow animal rescuer, and now our Board President, Deirdre, called me one day in 2017 and said she was doing a rescue dog transfer in Fresno, CA, and Animal Care and Control there had picked up a young pot belly pig. The dog rescue group didn't know what to do, but...read more
Piggy is the inspiration for When Pigs Fly Ranch, so she has a very special place in our hearts. She was captured as a wild piglet as a companion for another wild pig that was rescued when he was attacked by coyotes and lost a leg. Piggy was a loyal companion until...read more
Oh Monsieur Pierre! What a sweet, wonderful boy you are. Pierre was found as a wild piglet and raised by a very loving woman who loved and cared for him like a pet. When she found herself unable to keep him, she reached out to us and we immediately took him in. Pierre...read more
If you’d like to know more, or if you’re interested in helping out, let us know!