In July, the FLSPCA asked if we could bring Marshall Dillon and his friends to Farm Sanctuary. Their need for placement had become more urgent, and as we had space at our New York shelter, we were able to welcome them into our care.
The pigs settled into a quarantine space, where we monitored their incoming health conditions. This is standard practice at Farm Sanctuary to ensure that sick animals get the care they need and prevent spreading any illness to our other residents.
While Lizzie and Robbie were bright upon arrival, Marshall Dillon was subdued and didn’t have as much interest in food. Veterinarians examined Marshall Dillon and suspected he was stressed from the trip, so we gave him supportive care and space to rest. Unfortunately, his condition worsened — he developed a fever, started breathing heavier, and continued rejecting food.
We decided to bring Marshall Dillon to Cornell University for additional supportive care. Though concerned that the trip might exacerbate his symptoms, we agreed the risks of staying home outweighed the risks of travel. Sadly, Marshall Dillon passed away during transit. Later examinations revealed an entrapment and rupture of part of his intestine,which may have stemmed from trauma when he was younger. Though we tried our best, there was nothing else we could have done to save his life.
Marshall Dillon spent two days at Farm Sanctuary. We are heartbroken by his unexpected loss and wish we’d had more time together. However, we’re also grateful that he knew care and kindness from the FLSPCA and our caregiving team — compared to how his life began and how it ends for 124 million pigs slaughtered for meat in the U.S. each year. We honor his legacy by saying his name, sharing his story, and continuing our lifesaving work to help others, like his friends Lizzie and Robbie, enjoy life on their terms.