Sherlock finally finds a home

Published 9:49 pm Tuesday, October 6, 2009

After spending weeks in Suffolk’s animal shelter, the pig found wandering the East Washington Street area in late August has finally found a home.

“Sherlock,” as he’s been named, was adopted by a Suffolk woman who delights in giving large animals a permanent home.

Though the new owner was reluctant to speak with media, a friend who works for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals spoke on her behalf.

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“I have known the woman who adopted him for some years,” said Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA’s vice president of cruelty investigations. “I’ve met a lot of her critters, most of which are considered livestock in most situations. It’s very refreshing to see someone treat these animals, you know, give them the royal treatment really.”

The new owner, a Suffolk resident, has lots of land to play and other animals to keep him company, Nachminovitch said.

“He’s in paradise, really,” she said. “He’s got a lot of friends, and the property is just gorgeous.”

Photos Nachminovitch took at the owners’ home feature Sherlock bathing in the mud, being slathered with sunscreen and chumming with a dog. Sherlock seems to love dogs, since he broke out of his cage and befriended a pit bull at the animal shelter. Sherlock also has a shallow plastic pool to dip in when he wants to cool off, Nachminovitch said.

Nachminovitch originally recommended the new owner to the Suffolk Animal Control staff. After receiving several more applications to adopt the pig, animal control officers did home checks to determine the best new home for the pig.

Nachminovitch is the one who gave Sherlock his mysterious new name.

“I went to visit him on Saturday,” Nachminovitch said. “She gave me the honor of naming him. I said I have to meet him before I name him.”

Sherlock earned his name by being extremely curious during her visit, Nachminovitch said.

“I named him Sherlock because he’s a total detective,” she said. “He’s just a big snooper. He was overturning dirt, looking for goodies all the time.”

Though the pig was originally thought to be somebody’s pet, Nachminovitch said that is likely not the case. At only a few months old, Sherlock was castrated and had a docked tail when he was found, which means he likely was born on a factory farm, Nachminovitch said.

“My guess is that he fell off some truck that was headed to a growing and finishing farm,” Nachminovitch said, explaining that a “growing and finishing farm” is where hogs are fattened for the slaughter. “If he hadn’t been castrated, I would have thought he was somebody’s pet.”

Animals falling off trucks is not uncommon, Nachminovitch said, but it happens more often to smaller animals like chickens and turkeys. She suspects his curious nature had something to do with his escape.

“It makes the story extra nice, because he escaped a pretty gruesome fate,” she said.