WOODBURN, Ore. — Behind Juma Power’s home in Woodburn, her small barn is reaching capacity.
“A lot of it was with COVID and people not being financially able to take care of their animals. Plus moving, and then not having a place to have their animal with them,” she said.
For almost 20 years, Juma's Farm has rescued pot-bellied pigs from abuse and neglect. Power usually has about five to eight pigs but since March, she’s taken in almost 20 pigs, a 200% increase. Most of their owners have lost their jobs, homes, or both. Recently, an Oregon couple had to drop off their 5-year-old pig.
“They then were unable to pay for a mortgage on their home,” Juma said. “This was before all of the mortgage protection plans or eviction things went into place. So they ended up having to move from Oregon over to Washington, and stay in a friend's home there, and then, not being able to bring their beloved animal with them.”
Juma thinks of herself as a foster mom. She loves giving them all individual affection and a good life while they’re here, even as she balances a full-time job.
“I don't heat my house,” she said. “But I heat the barn. Because I can always put on a coat or jacket or whatever, they can't.”
Ideally, the pigs will be reunited with their owners at some point, but with so many to care for, Juma is asking for help. She’s looking for adoptive homes for at least 10 of the pigs in her care, along with donations and volunteers.
“They're just begging somebody, ‘Please adopt me, please adopt me,’ and I do my best, but they need somebody to snuggle with them for an hour or two,” Juma smiled.
If you would like to volunteer, donate, or adopt, visit JumasFarm.org.