NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — When Porkchop takes on an agility course outside Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, the crowd goes hog wild!
No joke! The mini-pig’s session with this group of adults with special needs caused squeals of delight.
“I gave her some grapes and blueberries it was really fun, I enjoyed it,” Ellen Rosenbaum said.
“She loves everyone. She’s great with kids and the elderly,” Jess Moffo said of her beloved pet, poised to become a therapy animal.
She’s learning certain commands and skills.
“Covid hit, work was slow, and I got her during prime Covid and she honestly kept me from being sad and depressed,” Moffo explained, an animal control officer with four dogs who, don’t worry, aren’t left alone with Porkchop.
She noticed her pig’s intelligence and compassion and realized she’d bring comfort to others as well.
While the pig doesn’t love to be held, she certainly charmed the crowd.
“It’s interesting to have a therapy pig,” Rosenbaum said. “If you’re sad and had a bad day or something, they make you happy and they’re good for your anxiety and depression.”
“It helps me calm down and just stay in my comfort zone,” 22-year-old Abram Resnick added.
Therapy pigs are pretty rare.
Moffo hopes to bring the beautiful swine to children’s hospitals and veterans homes in the future.
“Just to give back. Put smiles on people’s faces who need it,” she said.
For now, Porkchop will rest up…storing-up energy to continue to cultivate joy.
“Her personality is amazing. It’s just different. People see her and love her, how can you not? She’s the best thing,” Moffo said.
Porkchop is in training with the American Mini Pig Assocation.
While learning “stay” is proving to be a challenge, Moffo hopes she’s certified in the next few months.