Rodney the wandering pig is given a home in St Ouen
AN unclaimed pig that had been spotted several times during the past month wandering in the lanes, private gardens and wooded areas of Trinity and St Saviour has now been adopted by a vegan woman from St Ouen.
Lara Manning (32), whose home on the west coast of the Island already provides sanctuary to a menagerie of other abandoned animals, including kunekune pigs, horses, sheep, chickens and goats, formally adopted the six-month-old pig, which she has christened ‘Rodney Trotter’, earlier this week.
Rodney was finally ‘captured’, according to Ms Manning, at Victoria Village a fortnight ago, but before adoption was permitted, she had to wait for the States vet to give Rodney a clean bill of health, check over her facilities for keeping livestock, and make a final, official appeal for Rodney’s owner to come forward.
A number of informal appeals to Rodney’s owner had already been made, in the JEP and on social media, and it was this that had originally caught the eye of Ms Manning, who works as a freelance groom.
‘After I had seen the posts shared on Facebook, I decided to try to find him [Rodney],’ she said. ‘That is basically what we do – we always take in unwanted animals – and Rodney is actually not our first pig. We also have Sebastian and Gert, who have had a bit of publicity in the past, mainly because Gert has a habit of causing trouble occasionally.’
Gert, Rodney’s new sty-mate, is a 14-stone kunekune pig, who courted local fame in 2014 when he escaped from his pen and faced down local motorist Rebecca Edwards as she was driving along Rue de Couvant.
Mrs Edwards spent nearly 15 minutes trying to encourage Gert to move, but instead, he approached her bright orange car and started biting the bumper because, Mrs Edwads assumed, he may have ‘thought it was a giant carrot’.
Ms Manning is confident that, while Rodney and Gert will bond over their mutual fondness for going AWOL on a road trip, they will now have plenty of space to be happily and securely kept on her property, which has ‘a few fields’ attached to it.
Other than being guided by her vegan principles, Ms Manning said her motivation to take on the expense and responsibility of adopting Rodney was to do with the fact that Jersey did not have facilities to look after certain types of unwanted animal.
‘I am interested in claiming animals that we, in Jersey, do not have facilities to look after,’ she said. ‘So for example, with Rodney, I knew that the JSPCA would not be able to do anything about his situation because they do not keep livestock.’
She added that her interest in animal welfare was something that had been with her since she was a child.
‘Growing up, my family always had loads of pets, and had an interest in cattle and goats and livestock,’ she said.
‘Since moving to St Ouen in 2005, when we got a bit more land, we have been gradually taking in more and more animals that have needed a home.’