Each face has a story to tell, animal or human. At Chenoa Manor Animal Sanctuary in the bucolic town of Avondale, Pennsylvania, there are more than 200 animals who have incredible stories, all rescued from some type of danger, abuse or neglect.
Founded by Dr. Rob Teti, a vegan veterinarian, the 25 acre sanctuary was named Chenoa Manor based on the Native American word ”chenoa,” meaning white dove. What an apropos name for a place that brings peace to former factory-farmed animals and others saved from lives of torment, terror or just bad luck. Operating on a shoestring budget, the work in caring for these animals is provided by volunteers. No one draws a salary. The work is done from a place of love and concern for all God’s creatures.
Having attended the quarterly tour at Chenoa Manor a couple weeks ago, I was enthralled with the happiness and confidence each animal exhibited toward the visitors. Gino the pig was super-curious at the arrival of new humans. He accepted pets and friendly smiles from us, although in retrospect, I think he was searching for any extra food he could scrounge up. This was made obvious when he stretched his snout under the fence and grabbed a bag of carrots brought by the group.
Nigel the goat made fast friends with a young teenage girl. She nicknamed him “half and half” for his black and white coloring. She left with the intent to donate to his care, saying she was so touched by the connection they instantly made with each other.
Have You Ever Attended a Pig Funeral?
I hear one of the most touching and emotional stories I’ve ever heard about animals that day. Several years ago, one of the porcine members, a pig named Amos, was not doing so well. He was expected to die and Dr. Teti and some others went to the pig area to observe him and determine if Amos should be euthanized to prevent unnecessary pain and suffering.
Amos did it his way; he stopped breathing shortly after their arrival. Dr. Teti and the group were sitting a short distance away when the most amazing thing happened. All the other pigs who lived with Amos and knew him so well moseyed over to pay their respects.
First came Eli, the oldest and largest of the porcine family. He very slowly put his snout down at Amos’s head and continued sniffing the entire length of Amos’s body. All the other pigs were lined up awaiting their turn. Betty was second; she took the same care as Eli did and slowly walked away.
Each of the pigs performed this ritual in order of their pack status. The youngest, Sebastian, and the newest member of the clan, had lived at Chenoa Manor only a couple of weeks at that time. He was more animated in the procedure than the others, presumably because he knew Amos for the shortest amount of time.
When Sebastian bopped away from Amos, all nine pigs walked in a perfect line to the southwest corner of the pasture and formed a perfect circle. They all laid down and remained quiet and still for approximately 15 minutes. At which time they all stood up for about 20 to 30 seconds and left. They resumed their normal activities like it was any other day. What a remarkable grieving process. Humans: take note.
Next page: Read some of the personal stories.
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