Animal sanctuary in Cedar Rapids reaches max capacity, looks to expand

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) Hercules' Haven receives multiple requests a week to take in more mini-pigs.

Founders say people don't always realize just how big those animals can get. So the founders want people do their research ahead of time.

Beatrice Stone, or Ms. B, lives a pampered life in her new home at Hercules’ Haven. It’s complete with daily snacks, a soft bed of blankets and endless belly rubs.

Ms. B is a rescue potbelly pig, she’s roughly five years old.

"She was picked up from animal control because they found her roaming the streets in Cedar Rapids and they aren't zoned for pigs in Cedar Rapids,” Alison Stone said.

It took months of work to get Ms. B to a healthy weight. A situation the Stones knows well.

"We get several calls a week usually from people to re-home pigs either cause it's not zoned to own a pig or pig is getting so large can't care for it or don't want to a care for a pig that large,” Stone said.

The Stones adopted as many pigs as they can, given animal zoning laws. Another four live outside, in a heated barn.

Alison and Danny say people don't always do thorough research before getting pet pigs.

“They see pictures of these pretty teacup pigs and they think they'll keep them in their purse,” Stone said. “Those terms are falsehood, tea cup, micro, mini are not types of pigs."

The non-profit started less than two years ago. The Stones reached max animal capacity just four months after they started the Haven. So they're working on plans to expand.

"What we've been dreaming of us at least 10 acres, close to here to our base in Cedar Rapids, although we wouldn't mind some of the smaller counties nearby,” Danny said.

And the Haven accepts more than pigs, also goats, horses, ducks, dogs and cats. The Stones want to provide animals with a forever home, and educate others about their needs.

"I think if your first question about a pig is ‘How big does it get?’ Then that might not be the animal for you,” Stone said.

The Stones are working with a realtor to look at properties, and hope to find something by the end of the year. All of the animals are being trained to be therapy companions. The Stones hope to expand this program at the new site.