Update: Shirley was recovered at 9:45 a.m and is on her way to new home.
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – A story of rescue and compassion has turned into a tale of possible heart break.
Overnight someone entered the property where a rescued pig from the PAW animal shelter was awaiting it’s new home, and stole the animal from it’s cage.
According to PAW director Sandy Brown, the incident occurred around 9 p.m. Thursday night. The owner of the property heard the pig “Shirley” squealing loudly and went to check on the animal and found the door latch and lock on the ground and the pig missing.
The pig had to undergo Iowa Wildlife mandated testing before it could be released to it’s forever home, and those test results had been received on Thursday as well, so the animal was set to go to its new home.
Brown said she and other staff looked around town until about 1 a.m. for the animal, but had no success.
She said a reward is being offered for information leading to the pigs recovery.
“She’s priceless, she’s just “Shirley the Pig”. She’s Fort Madison’s pig,” Brown said this morning. “We get comments every day asking if she’s in her home and how she’s doing. Everybody has been very interested in her story. She’s just a sweet pig and we’d like her returned.”
Brown said if it was just a prank or a dare, she just wants the animal returned.
“If this is a prank very funny, ha-ha, just bring her back. Just get her back to us so we can get her in her new home,” Brown said.
Some tips have come in to police and to shelter staff through messaging, but anyone with information is encouraged to contact local law enforcement anonymously and the shelter. Brown said she can be reached at 319-470-3291.
“My number’s out there all over the place, they can call me directly,” she said.
Shirley weighs about 40 lbs and is 8 or 9 weeks old. Brown said she’s a little bigger and taller than a beagle and still all pink.
The pig fell from a livestock trailer on July 19, and was found by a motorist who took the animal to the sheriff’s office, who in turn contacted Brown who took the animal to a vet. The pig was quarantined at the local residence while blood samples were sent to the Iowa Wildlife for testing.