Four years ago when Theodore the massive Yorkshire pig was found roaming along the Fraser Highway and seized by the Langley Animal Protection Society, Michelle Singleton of A Home for Hooves Farm Sanctuary promised he’d be safe and loved at her Cowichan Valley haven for the remainder of his days.
It wasn’t known at that time though, just how many days he had left. A full-grown pig at the time, nobody was quite sure how old Theo really was.
It turns out, he had only four years left. But they were good years.
”I am absolutely heartbroken to share that on Friday [Jan. 27] evening we lost our big sweet boy Theodore,” reported Singleton via a social media message.
“Anyone who met Theo was completely in awe of him due to his massive size and like so many big pigs, their sheer size is what brings an end to their life.”
Singleton said she was away checking on a boar at the sanctuary, named Cyrus, when a volunteer sent a “gut-wrenching message” that Theo was down behind his shelter and couldn’t get up.
Racing to get to him, Singleton called the vet to meet her there.
“I knew this wasn’t good and I was likely going to have to make a very hard decision,” she said. “Theo has been having some difficulty with his back legs, which has been managed with medication, but he has never gone down before. In the 20 minutes, it took me to arrive home, he had managed to drag himself to the front of his shelter and was sitting on his bum. Once he saw me he tried to come to me, but I could see that his back legs were in complete failure so I backed right off and waited for Dr. Peter Watson to arrive.”
The excruciating decision was made to let Theo go.
“As always, Peter was here when we needed him most and he helped Theo pass on so we could release him from his broken body,” she said.
It’s believed Theo was somewhere between six and 10 years old when he passed.
In his relatively short time on the planet, and even shorter stint at A Home for Hooves, Theo left an indelible mark.
“I have so many fond memories of this big guy, too many to count,” Singleton said. “Everyone who met him just adored him. He was beloved by our volunteers and anyone who met him. He was our big sweet beast and we are going to miss him tremendously.”
Theo was 800 pounds when he was found by animal control officers roaming the Fraser Highway in Langley in August 2018. After nearly a year and a half, it was decided Cowichan’s A Home for Hooves would be his best ‘forever’ home.
It took a three-horse trailer to transport the massive animal by ferry and thereafter he settled in at the sanctuary surrounded by much love, and even a girlfriend.
Animal control officer Tina Jensen-Fogt had been in charge of the pig on the mainland, and had the opportunity to visit Theo in the summer of 2022 after nearly three years apart.
“I am so thankful that Tina…was able to see him this past summer,” Singleton said. “She adored him, kept him safe, advocated for him, and ensured Theo found a safe place to call home. It had been over three years since she’d seen him last, but he remembered her, and I could feel his happiness when she was visiting him.”
By all accounts, he was a happy pig. And by all accounts, he made those around him happy too.