“Violet” adjusting to new outdoor surroundings

Over the past several months, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has been diligently working with a four-year-old pig to help her overcome her anxiety and fear-based behavioral issues and is now looking to find her the perfect place to call home.

Four-year-old Violet was raised as a house pet, spending her days inside and constantly around people. Unfortunately, her family was no longer able to care for her, and she was surrendered to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Although set up comfortably in an outdoor paddock and enclosure, it was not what she was used to. Violet did not have the constant companionship and interaction with people she was used to, and out of frustration, she began acting out.

During feeding or enrichment time, Violet would charge, bark or nip at the ARL staff member of volunteer in the paddock, and not allow them to leave.

ARL consulted an outside pig expert to better understand the behaviors Violet was displaying and to formulate a plan to curb said behaviors.

It was surmised that Violet was exhibiting signs of depression, and was fearful about being alone. When she would charge or nip a staff member or volunteer, it was her way of expressing that she did not want the person to leave. To help Violet overcome her depression and anxiety, she was taught a “back-up” cue using positive reinforcement to teach her that she needs to give space to anyone interacting with her.

Pigs are incredibly intelligent, and learning this cue has positively altered Violet’s behavior and she is once again ready to find her new home.

To see Violet’s profile on ARL’s website, click here!

A Behavioral Resource

While every dog and cat available for adoption undergoes a behavioral evaluation, ARL also has resources available for owned pets as well.

Training is essential for our furry friends, and ARL offers dog training courses for all levels, from puppy socialization to advanced manners.

In-person, private, semi-private and even virtual courses are offered.

ARL also offers a FREE pet behavior helpline to assist pet owners with behavioral issues including excessive barking, crate training, house soiling, among others.

To access this free service, call (617) 226-5666 or email behaviorhelpline@arlboston.org, and and ARL representative will respond within 48 hours.