Six pigs taken from an island in the San Joaquin Delta by a non-profit animal rescue organization are now back with their owner. However, the controversy surrounding their health continues.
Sabine Verelst helped feed and care for the pigs since 2014 and argues they were in poor condition.
"The worst was the original mom who had a uterus hanging out," says Verelst.
Last week, the pigs were taken by the non-profit Farm Sanctuary to the UC Davis Veterinarian Hospital where they were treated. However, the Sheriff for San Joaquin County called for the pigs' return to Roger Stevenson, their owner. Stevenson argues the island's owner gave permission for the pigs to live there, but Verelst challenges that point.
"They never gave permission for Roger to put these pigs there," says Verelst.
In a written statement, Farm Sanctuary said "We rescued the pigs only after we obtained clear legal title to them, and because they were in danger."
Verelst spoke Tuesday morning about the Pig Island controversy with Beth Ruyak. Sacramento Bee's Ed Fletcher, who's been following the Pig Island controversy and last week's rescue, also joins the conversation.
Listen to the full interview by clicking on the audio player above.
Farm Sanctuary could not appear on air, but provided this written statement.
“Farm Sanctuary’s position is that we rescued the pigs only after we obtained clear legal title to them, and because they were in danger. We were surprised to learn that someone else was claiming ownership of the pigs, and even more surprised and disheartened to learn that the veterinary hospital decided to release them to him. We have the pigs’ best interests at heart and looked forward to providing them safe, loving homes for the rest of their lives. We are considering our options.”