Canada resident Steve Jenkins couldn’t say no when he agreed to adopt what he was told was a micro piglet. Steve’s only dilemma with bringing the little pig home was that his partner Derek Walter might not be too thrilled. But the pig was only 3 pounds and was only supposed to grow to a maximum weight of 70 pounds. So Steve figured Derek wouldn’t mind another little house pet. They already had 2 dogs so Steve figured the pig would be like a 3rd dog. They named the little piglet, Esther.
Derek soon warmed up to Esther. “The first couple of weeks, we had this baby animal in our house. Anybody that has a bleeding heart loves baby animals; you can’t help but fall in love,” Steve explained. Steve was over what he thought was the only hurdle for having a pig for a pet. His partner was ok with it, so now he was ready for the happily ever after part. Or so he thought.
Esther Has A High Intelligence
It turns out that Steve was right about one thing and that was that Esther was like a dog as far as intelligence. In fact, the couple said that she was even smarter than the dogs. “She was incredible from the day we brought her home, super clever. We’d see an intelligence in her we didn’t even see in our dogs,” Steve said.
But there was a major error given on her projected adult weight. Esther quickly surpassed the 70-pound weight max that they were told she would only grow to be, so they did what any caring animal owner would do when wondering what was going on. They took Esther to a vet, but the vet gave them some shocking news. The vet said, “I’m pretty sure you’re dealing with a commercial pig here, She could get to be 250 pounds.”
Well, the next shocker was that it didn’t take long for Esther to surpass the 250-pound status. She kept growing until she reached 650-pounds! By that point, Steve and Derek had grown too attached to Esther to even entertain the thought of giving her away. Instead, they all lived together in a three-bedroom house in Georgetown, a hamlet of Ontario, Canada.
9,000 People Raised $440,00o For Esther And Her Family To Move To A Farm and Start An Animal Sanctuary
Steve and Derek knew that they needed to move to a home with land so that Esther could enjoy life more. “We knew what we had to do. How we were living wasn’t fair to her.” So the family found a 50-acre farm approximately 40 minutes away from their house. The only problem was that the farm was listed at 1 million dollars. At this point, Esther was very popular on her own Facebook page that her humans made for her. Because of her popularity, it didn’t take long for Esther’s fan base to donate $440,000 on a crowdfunding site. Nine thousand people in 44 countries contributed to the cause of buying Esther and her family a farm.
The family moved into their farmhouse in November of 2014 and named it Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary. Esther was soon joined by other farm animals needing homes. A cow, horses, goats and another pig joined the family. All was looking like the Happily Ever After that Steve and Derek hoped for. But then things took a turn for the worse for Esther. She got very sick in 2018.
Esther Falls Ill
Esther was taken to the Ontario Veterinary College to hopefully find out what was wrong with her. It was determined that Esther would need a CT scan. A problem arose, and that was that she was too big to fit in the machine that they had. “We just assumed that they had that sort of equipment and that any university would have that sort of equipment, and so it was a huge shock to find out they didn’t,” Steve said.
Steve reached out to the animal-loving community and once again, they came through with fundraising to get the necessary equipment needed. In only four months time, the goal of $650,000 was exceeded. In fact, the fundraising effort gave them an extra $120,000 that was donated to other animal charities. Now the CT scan machine will be used with other large animals in need too.
Esther Is Cured
The CT scan results showed that Esther had breast cancer. Because they found the cancer in time, Esther was able to have life-saving surgery. She is now cancer-free! Her owners have shared her story by writing a New York Times bestseller called, “Esther the Wonder Pig.”
Esther has continued to gain fame. The Hollywood film production company called the Donners are working to turn Esther’s story into a movie. Now I’d call that a happily ever after. Esther is living her life on a farm with other animals while the world will get to enjoy her story. And as for Steve and Derek, Esther has inspired them to become Vegans. This sweet pig sure has touched the lives of many.
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