Safe Haven for Pigs, Fun and Education for Humans
Located on the Russian River in Sonoma County, CA, 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!
At When Pigs Fly Ranch, we're all about introducing people to the amazing world of pigs. Our sanctuary isn't just a safe haven; it's a place for pig education and joy. We're on a mission to change perceptions of pigs - they're not just cute, and they're not just products, but also smart, playful, and loving creatures. Through interactive visits and heartwarming pig encounters, we aim to make people smile and form personal connections with our curly-tailed friends. Our goal is to bust old stereotypes and replace them with lots of piggy love and respect. Spending time with our pigs inspires kindness and empathy, encouraging people to make compassionate choices for animals and our planet, like perhaps going vegan, even part of the time.
Join us on this heartwarming journey of discovery and transformation!
We ask for a donation of $20/adult and $10/child under 13.
We are closed for tours from December 15 to March 15.
We Joyfully Introduce Our Latest Residents!
Meet Maui and Lahaina - 2 pigs rescued from the fires in Maui
Our sanctuary has weathered various natural disasters over the past six years, requiring evacuation three times due to fires and floods. It has been a humbling journey, and we are grateful for the opportunity to assist others in recovering from such catastrophic events. We feel privileged to welcome these little miracles, affectionately named Maui and Lahaina in honor of their birthplace. Read on below for their amazing story!
In the aftermath of the devastating Lahaina fire on August 8, 2023, amid the widespread destruction, emerged a remarkable story of resilience and survival. A farm housing 32 pigs faced the brunt of the flames, but their story took an unexpected turn.
As the encroaching fire threatened their home, the pigs displayed an instinctive resilience by seeking refuge in a pond, defying the odds and surviving the inferno. Two pregnant sows, undeterred by the chaos, gave birth to a total of 12 piglets just days after the blaze.
Recognizing the urgent need for assistance, the distressed farmer worked with the Maui Pig Sanctuary. In a testament to the sanctuary's commitment, the well-being of all 44 pigs was entrusted to their care. Operating within the fire zone, dedicated volunteers from the Maui Pig Sanctuary provided essential food and water, ensuring the pigs' survival until their evacuation on August 22, 2023.
On November 30, 2023, 4 piglets born amidst the disaster embarked on a journey to sanctuaries in Northern California, traveling from Maui to Honolulu, then to LAX. Welcomed in Los Angeles by a compassionate member of the Maui Pig Sanctuary's board of directors, the piglets traveled six hours to meet a dedicated volunteer, who completed the final leg of their journey, transporting them to their forever homes—2 to When Pigs Fly Ranch and 2 to another farm animal sanctuary.
This story, highlighting the resilience of these 44 pigs, the dedication of the Maui Pig Sanctuary, our commitment at When Pigs Fly Ranch to help, and the collaborative efforts of volunteers and sanctuaries, exemplifies the power of compassion and community in the face of adversity.
Please consider a donation to help with the care of Maui and Lahaina
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 my journey with When Pigs Fly Ranch began in November 2016, sparked by a serendipitous encounter with a 400-pound pig that stole my heart. My passion for animal rescue dates back to the '90s when I started volunteering for various dog and cat rescue organizations. I even served on the board of directors for a well-known senior dog rescue group in San Francisco, Muttville, and welcomed dogs and cats into my own home as beloved pets.
From a young age, I felt a deep calling to assist animals in need; it was more than a love for animals, but a profound sense of duty to help them. While my background was primarily in dog and cat rescue, I embarked on a new adventure when I first considered creating When Pigs Fly Ranch. Thankfully, I connected with a remarkable woman with over 25 years of experience in pig raising, who graciously guided us and imparted essential knowledge about caring for pigs. Along the way, we've been fortunate to receive support and guidance from numerous experts, including dedicated veterinarians who have been invaluable mentors, advisors, and confidants throughout our incredible journey.
My personal journey began as a vegetarian in 1985, and in 2018, I embraced a vegan lifestyle. I hold this belief close to my heart: the decisions we make as humans hold immense power to shape the fate of our planet and the fellow creatures we coexist with.
Cheers and oinks!
Our objective is to create a space where people can deepen their understanding of pigs, with the hope that, in the process, we can challenge and reshape perceptions about the role of pigs in our world.
A Rewarding Experience
Forming connections with pigs can be an amazing and rewarding experience, and taking time to appreciate them is enriching for the pigs, and for us humans. Although caring for them is a big commitment, when we look into the eyes of our animal residents, offer them a comforting scratch behind the ears, or witness their joyful rolls for a belly rub, it becomes abundantly clear that our responsibilities to our animal friends goes well beyond mere words like "I'm too busy."
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.