TV Fame Coming to Local Potbellied Pig
Ranger the Pot-bellied Pig to appear on "Animal Miracles with Alan Thicke" TV ShowJuly 31, 2002 - Gallastar Equine Center is proud to announce that the Ranger the potbellied pig will be filmed for an upcoming episode of the "Animal Miracles with Alan Thicke" TV show.
Gallastar Equine Center is a horse ranch in the rolling hills near Afton, Virginia, that specializes in animal therapy for children with cognitive or emotional problems. Owners Ron and Lorelei Pulliam have a host of well-loved horses, dogs and barn cats that are used to assist in the healing of wounded children. But Ranger the pig is something a little unexpected--and special.
Wild, timid and half-starved, Ranger first appeared at Gallastar in Easter of 2001 among a herd of horses on a neighboring farm. Despite many attempts, he was impossible to catch, and it was only a matter of time before the dogs that roamed the countryside made a meal of him. Luckily, Lorelei Pulliam had an idea. "I asked several young volunteers to help me lead the five horses from the neighbor's farm to ours. The little pig trotted proudly behind the horses through the woods and across creeks right into our barn."
Once Ranger realized that he was a captive, he threw a fit. "He hurled himself against the fence with everything he had," says Pulliam, "But, smart as he was, he soon realized that it was futile. Over the next few weeks, we became fast friends, and soon he was ready to meet the children."
Knowing that Ranger needed pig company and must have a porcine family nearby, the Pulliams set out to find them. Once they did, it became obvious why Ranger had run away. "His mother, sister, brother, and a tiny piglet were locked in a filthy little pen with no fresh water and only an occasional meal of grass or rotten tomatoes." After much negotiating and a king's ransom paid, these other lucky pigs also joined the Gallastar family.
Today, Ranger is not only a well-loved pet--obedient, affectionate, and leash and potty trained--but also an important part of the Gallastar program. "We use him to illustrate the dangers of stereotypes and importance of tolerance" explains Ron Pulliam, "Many of our children are disgusted to hear that a pig will be eating lunch with them after their horseback riding. When they meet Ranger, they realize that the stereotypes - that pigs are smelly, dirty and so on - are completely untrue."
The Pulliams are excited at the idea of sharing Ranger's story with a wider audience through "Animal Miracles with Alan Thicke." The story of his escape from a bad home, his tribulations in the wild, and pleasure he brings to children through the healing power of love have touched all those who encounter him.
Gallastar Equine Center is a not-for-profit center for therapeutic horseback riding that specializes in serving young people with cognitive and emotional difficulties. Founded in 1994, Gallastar was one of the first in the nation to form a true collaboration between the mental health community and therapeutic riding in what is now called equine assisted psychotherapy. It is based in Afton, Virginia.
"Animal Miracles with Alan Thicke" is a TV program that presents heartwarming stories featuring animals that have performed amazing acts or changed peoples' lives. It is produced by The Eyes Multimedia Productions, a Peace Arch company, and can be seen in the US on PAX TV and Life Network.