MEDIA RELEASE: Housewarming Party for Rescued Pigs

MEDIA RELEASE: Housewarming Party for Rescued Pigs

MILFORD, N.J. (Oct. 21, 2022)In Defense of Animals sponsored a housewarming party on Saturday, Oct. 15, hosted by Fluffy Butt Rescue for two pot-bellied pigs who suffered for years in desperate conditions at a county-owned petting zoo before they were rescued this summer. 


Cosmo, 16, and Newman, 11, were rescued from a life of suffering at a Middlesex County petting zoo by Fluffy Butt Rescue in July. Friends and supporters celebrated the pigs’ rescue and welcomed them into a large, insulated, state-of-the-art wooden house purchased from donations made by sanctuary supporters and a generous contribution from In Defense of Animals

Guests brought gifts for the honorees and socialized, scratched bellies, and smashed pumpkins for them to feast on. Human partygoers enjoyed hot local cider donated by Phillips Farms in special Cosmo and Newman mugs and custom "Home Sweet Home" vegan sugar cookies donated by Desserts by Taryn.

“In Defense of Animals is honored to support Cosmo and Newman’s rescue from a life of suffering at a depressing petting zoo facility and welcome them to their forever home at Fluffy Butt Rescue,” said Brittany Michelson, Captive Animals Campaigner for In Defense of Animals. “No animal deserves to suffer in the name of entertainment and we are thrilled to have sponsored this special housewarming party, and are very happy that these sweet pigs are now getting all the love and care they deserve. Home Sweet Home Cosmo and Newman!” 

Consider supporting Cosmo and Newman with a financial housewarming gift here:


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Statement from Rachel Case, founder & director of Fluffy Butt Rescue: 

“When Cosmo and Newman were transported from the petting zoo to Fluffy Butt Rescue, they arrived trembling and panting from the stress of the transport. Their quarantine stall had wood chips, a mattress and blankets, and it became apparent that they never had such things at their previous home. When they discovered the blankets, we heard happy grunts and saw the tiniest tail wags... the first signs of happy pigs! Newman's new favorite thing was to try and get under the mattress (sometimes while Cosmo was on it!) We also discovered that they really enjoyed being sung to. So we would sit in their stall, and tell them how handsome and sweet they are in song. Slowly we gained their trust and were able to touch them. Cosmo was the first to discover that belly scratches are indeed the best thing ever.  Newman is still learning to trust us, and will occasionally roll over for a belly rub.”  

The boys were quarantined for four weeks before the pieces of their house arrived on two giant pallets.  It was time to gather some handy humans to assemble their new house. It has a little covered front porch, three windows, a dutch door and a gradual ramp for entering and exiting. It took two weekends to assemble the house and get Cosmo and Newman into it. And the rest is history! The boys love their house so much. It has a mattress, hay, pillows and blankets, and they love burrowing into it! 

The day they were transferred, Newman arrived panting and in a panic, and obviously depressed. Cosmo seemed defeated, helpless and in pain from his arthritis. Cosmo could only walk on his elbow when we got him. He is slowly using all fours now that he gets anti-inflammatories and joint supplements. Newman has taken a while to come around, but he has been accepting belly rubs!  

Cosmo and Newman have been taking anti-inflammatories, skin and coat supplements and a joint supplement. Paired with a healthy diet of restricted pig food, fresh fruits and veggies, Cosmo and Newman are looking great! Both boys have lost weight. Cosmo is walking on his front legs and even hops up for breakfast as soon as he hears us coming! Newman is a little slower to rise, and harder to encourage to leave his house. Sometimes we cave and feed them on the porch when it is extra chilly or raining out. Cosmo and Newman are living their best life at Fluffy Butt Rescue.  

Statement from Siraj Gandhi, the 16-year-old who started the campaign to get the pigs and other animals out of the park facility in Middlesex County: 

For the ten years that I had been visiting the county petting zoo, I had not seen Cosmo or Newman. Not once did they come out of their shed. Each time I returned to the petting zoo, a small part of me hoped that I could catch a glimpse of both pigs outside. But ten years passed, with the pigs isolated inside their roughly 6ft by 5ft shed. Their food bowls turned brown and filthy, the dirt floor of the open area began to erode, and the small soccer balls placed in the pen were left untouched. It was clear that Cosmo and Newman needed more stimulation and far better care in order to roll around and live in true pig spirit.

In August 2021, I decided to begin a campaign which called for improved living conditions for the animals at the park. It was in May 2022, when I visited the zoo to check in on the animals, that I saw Cosmo and Newman for the first time. They were massive, in extreme contradiction to the county’s picture of a “pot-bellied pig” posted on the enclosure. The ground of the pen was littered with large amounts of apples, carrots, and lettuce left by visitors, which most likely lured the pigs outside. While I was initially excited to see the pigs, something immediately caught my eye: Cosmo’s legs were bent almost at a 90-degree angle. He was forced to hobble to get to his food. Newman, on the other hand, while able to walk, was clearly overweight. He had a large flap of skin over his eyes, which blinded him. Their struggle was painful to watch, and while parents and their children stood next to me, cheerily throwing food over to the pigs, my heart sank.

That day, I knew immediate, drastic action had to be taken to save these pigs. I began attending county commissioner meetings, where I showed image and video evidence of the horrifying conditions the animals were facing. I urged the county to give the pigs immediate medical attention and consider their relocation to a sanctuary. The commissioners agreed that the poor physical state of the pigs was undeniable. However, through the meetings, it became apparent that the county had no clue that this was going on under their supervision and the veterinarian, who had diagnosed Cosmo with arthritis, took no medical action. Eventually, I heard that a new home for Cosmo was undergoing approval: Fluffy Butt Rescue. While it was great news for Cosmo, I knew that breaking their bond would likely lead to depression and anxiety for both of them. When I found out that Fluffy Butt Rescue was willing to take in Newman as well, I was overjoyed. From the videos of other pigs rolling in mud, to the sounds of people singing and talking to the pigs, I knew that Fluffy Butt Rescue would provide Cosmo and Newman with a loving new home and a future of freedom.



Fluffy Butt Rescue, Rachel Case,, 908-319-0725  
In Defense of Animals, Brittany Michelson,, 928-420-0727


In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin County, California, with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.

Fluffy Butt Rescue is a 501c3 sanctuary in Milford, N.J. that provides farm animals with the safety, love, and care they deserve. Formed in February 2020, it is currently home to two dozen animals who were previously neglected, abused, injured, or unwanted.

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