Unfortunately, millions of animals are being used and abused every year as testing property to perform experiments on by thousands of companies. Even though some and hopefully most of these testing labs don’t actually abuse the animals, no animal should ever live under these circumstances. Tragically, this four-month-old piglet wasn’t only tested on but was brutally abused in the lab.
The pig was found with a lot of pain, which was not a surprise, as she had no less than 18 severe burn marks on her skin. This wasn’t experimenting anymore, this was torture.
Caitlin Cimini is the founder of Rancho Relaxo and is an animal activist, particularly against harmful animal testing. She was able to save the piglet – which she named Alba – from a terrible fate and introduced her to the other animals on her ranch. Rancho Relaxo is a non-profit animal rescue farm in Woodstown, New Jersey.
“She spent eight weeks being tested on, from 1 week old to 8 weeks old,” she recalls in a talk with The Dodo. “She was burn-tested on.”
“I’ve rubbed coconut oil on them, and we’re hoping for her scars to maybe diminish a little bit, but they’ll never really go away,” she said about Alba’s injuries.
Because Caitlin wanted to do everything she could to take Alba home with her, she was forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement by the testing company. Caitlin can’t say anything about the exact circumstances of the testing that was performed.
“When you agree to take an animal from these laboratories, you’re basically agreeing to non-disclosure,” she said. “I’m not allowed to say what kind of product (was tested), whether it was a cleaning product or medical-based. I’m not even allowed to say what state she came from.”
It’s quite uncommon for testing animals to be released, as most are usually just put to sleep. According to Caitlin, two other pigs which underwent the same tests Alba did were euthanized, but it appears one of the workers there took a liking to Alba and facilitated her release.
“Alba had a shining personality,” Caitlin adds. “She was extra loving, extra wanting of people’s affection and the lab kind of agreed to release her to live her life to the fullest. But normally that’s not the practice. It’s very, very rare.”
Before Alba would relocate permanently to Caitlin’s Rancho Relaxo, she needed to get used to living a free life without pain and with the love and attention she deserved. A young woman named Kristen took care of the pig for a month and made sure she was doing alright health-wise, giving her vaccinations and a check-up by a vet. Janice, another volunteer, then made sure that Alba could find her loving forever home at Rancho Relaxo.
Caitlin says that Alba is an absolute treat and a truly affectionate animal.
“If she did have trauma, you would never know it,” the woman said. “Her personality is just unbelievable. She’s so loving, and still so trusting of people.”
The piglet has also made many friends at the ranch, although the other pigs still need to get used to a new member in the area for a bit. Caitlin is confident, however, that the other pigs will soon become big buddies with Alba as well.