A sow and her five piglets are enjoying a new home after they were saved from the butcher's block.
After receiving information from the Town of Montgomery Police, staff from Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, New York swooped in to rescue the animals from a backyard butcher's farm. Sanctuary staff told INSIDE EDITION they were shocked by what they encountered.
"The pigs lived in a dark, dank stall in a dilapidated, filthy barn, with no sunlight," Director of Operations Jeff Lydon said. "There was no food or water in the barn."
They found severed animal heads and body parts in a makeshift slaughterhouse, the sanctuary said.
The animals had no straw for bedding, and instead slept on a floor covered in six inches of solid feces "emanating a toxic ammonia fume that was sickening," Lydon said.
"It was pig hell," he said.
The investigation was led by the Hudson Valley SPCA Law Enforcement Division. The Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Farm Sanctuary and Skylands Animal Sanctuary also took in animals after entering the property with a search and seizure warrant. More than 100 animals were saved.
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary took in the mother pig and five piglets - all of whom would have been butchered when they were just three to six months old, Lydon said.
"At Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, they will live 12 [to] 15 years in this animal haven," he added.
As well as the pigs, the sanctuary took in nine goats and five sheep.
Video footage taken by Woodstock Farm Sanctuary shows the pigs being let out from the transport trailer and into their new home.
"They started doing what pigs are born to do, what they love to do, and yet what they had never before been able to do," Lydon told IE. "Wallowing in the mud, rutting in the soft earth, carefully making up soft beds of mounds of fresh straw they arranged themselves, and nursing in comfort and security instead of fear and deprivation."
He added that the mother pig had been skittish at first but is now showing that she appreciates the care from her rescuers.
"Mother and piglets are doing very well and quickly regaining their vigor with proper food and care," he said.
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary is a farm animal refuge and education center. For more information or to donate, visit their website.