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The original item was published from 12/29/2020 9:55:02 AM to 2/6/2021 12:00:05 AM.

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Posted on: December 29, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Two Teens and a Trail of Food Help Rescue a Big Pig

Penelope the Pig needed some help.

NORFOLK, VA – Two quick thinking Norfolk teens will be honored with special commendations after jumping in to help rescue a portly pig loose in the Denby Park/Colonial Heights neighborhood.

The rescue took place in November when Norfolk Humane Officer Johnel Southworth received a complaint that Penelope the pig’s owners were not properly caring for her. This was the second time Southworth had received a complaint about Penelope’s care. The first time happened over the summer and the owner promised Penelope would move to a farm in North Carolina.

Now Southworth was staring at Penelope again, loose in the driveway with no food or water. At 200+ pounds, getting Penelope into a van by himself was not going to be easy.  

Enter 13-year-old Tracy Leach, and his brother, 15-year-old Bradly Leach. The teens were on their way to the skatepark and stopped to ask about the swine situation. The teens found some pig pellets near Penelope’s pen and created a trail of food to lure Penelope into a crate.  

“You could tell she was very hungry,” Southworth said. “The boys were ingenious. It was quite something.” 

“It was eating every piece of food,” Bradly said.

The teens helped Southworth load Penelope into the van where Penelope was taken to the Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center. It wasn’t long before Penelope found her forever home.  

“Thanks to these boys for showing compassion and for helping the officer,” said NACC Bureau Manager Michelle Dosson. “Penelope is now happy in her new home, and even has a pig brother.” 

“It was amazing these two young gentlemen stepped in there and were really gung-ho,” Southworth said. “I did not know them at all. It really touched me.”



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