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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: At Lil' Orphan Hammies, our primary mission is to provide rescue, a safe environment, enrichment, and excellent care for pot-bellied pigs that are homeless, abandoned, neglected, or abused. This includes ensuring appropriate medical care, encouraging socialization, and careful rehabilitation of pigs with behavioral problems. We adhere to a strict "No-Kill" policy; never euthanizing an animal unless it is suffering from a mortal wound or terminal illness. OTHER ASPECTS OF OUR ONGOING MISSION:

Results: 2014 marks our 22nd anniversary. During the last 20 years, Lil' Orphan Hammies has rescued more than 1000 miniature pigs. Eligible pigs are adopted to qualified new forever homes. Elderly, infirm, and unadopted pigs find permanent respite in our sanctuary.

Target demographics: provide Rescue and a Sanctuary for Miniature and Pot-Bellied Pigs that people no longer want.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 140 pigs

Geographic areas served: Solvang, CA

Programs: Education, networking with animal control and humane societies, transportation of animals needing rescue, a life-long sanctuary, adoption services. 100% of the donations go directly to the pigs. Lil Orphan Hammies has been rescuing pigs since 1992. The founder, Sue Parkinson, works tirelessly and cares passionately for these amazing animals.

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

I have an adopted pig. His name is Mac and he is such a joy to my life! These animals are so smart I highly recommend giving them a lovable home!


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Lil' Orphan Hammies is a great resource for humans who want or have pigs as pets. I like that they put out PSA on Facebook the truth about getting a pig of your own. Like, there are no mini, micro, pixie or any other name for a miniature pig. Had we saw this before getting Emily I'm pretty sure we would not have done so. She's also very much into rescuing and re-homing piggies.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I only recently discovered the pig rescue world. I have never lived with a pig and have gotten so much useful information from this organization. Not only do they rescue pigs in need but also provide a huge amount of great literature. It's so important that people have accurate information before deciding to bring a companion of any kind into their home and LOH strives to educate people on what to expect when living with a pig. Thank you LOH for all the awesome info and of course for helping out all the piggies that are in need!

2 j.mager

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first discovered this organization about 16 years ago. I was beside myself with stress and unhappiness at the time; preparing for a move to the Bay Area and dealing with the earth-shattering realization that no Bay Area landlords would permit me to keep my companion Dexter, a rather large potbellied pig. After a chance meeting with LOH volunteers at a local event, Dexter's fate was no longer a quandry. He would have a wonderful new home and plenty of company. While I would miss him terribly, I would never have to worry over the quality of his life or whether or not he was being properly cared for. I went north to the Bay. Dexter went south to Solvang.

Over the years, I tried to look the organization up from time to time; to check on Dexter; to say "thank you" one more time. For some reason or another, I was never able to find them. Then, late in the Summer of 2010, I was feeling nostalgic and searched for them once more. This time, my query resulted in a website for the organization; and, I clicked "Send" for an email that would bring about much more than I expected.

LOH Founder, Sue Parkinson, responded within less than a day. I learned that Dexter had passed away just less than two years before. I was heartbroken, but happy to hear that he had lived so long and so well. Wanting to "give something back," I inquired as to any graphic design services that might be needed. Sue had a list. LOH needed a new website. They needed collateral. They needed edcuational materials. They wanted a new logo. They needed banners. They needed vehicle stickers. I could help! There was something I could do to start to repay Sue for the 10 years of wonderful care she had provided for my pig.

A few short months later, I was asked to join the board. Of course I said yes; and, I am glad that I did. I have found this small, but dedicated, board to be welcoming, active, and receptive to changes that will further best practice in our rescue operations and our sanctuary.

Since rediscovering LOH, I have seen Sue work wonders. I have watched as her skill and devotion restored health to Sammy, a pig who had been systematically starved for five years. I have seen the "before" pictures for Judge, a pig who had suffered terrible neglect and abuse and came to LOH injured, sickly, and untrusting. When I met Judge, I couldn't believe he was the same pig I had seen in those horrible pictures; he looks wonderful. I have watched and learned as Sue helped smaller rescues with veterinary support and and rescue assistance; as she has talked with people to educate them about the renewed plight of miniature pigs, and given unlimited time to concerned owners in advising them how best to care for their pets. And I have watched as she has cared for anywhere from 75 to 100 pigs on a daily basis; feeding and watering; providing medical attention; providing individual attention and enrichment; to all these pigs she knows by name.

I am truly proud to be on board!


Client Served

Rating: 5

Sue Parkinson has devoted her life to saving pigs that have been abandoned, abused, or for whatever reason, could no longer stay in their previous homes. Her sanctuary is a beautiful place where pigs can roam free in the sunshine, graze on grass, relax in the shade, and enjoy love and affection. Pigs at Lil Orphan Hammies receive any medical care that they need, from hoof trims to necessary life-saving surgery. Sue is the most knowledgeable person I know on the subject of pot belly pigs, and works very hard to educate the public and pet seekers on the true facts of what to expect when adopting a pig. I have visited Lil Orphan Hammies many times, and the pigs here are very lucky to call this beautiful place home.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great charity that helps piggies - they also help people that have questions on the proper way to care for piggies. They also try and find homes for Pigs that come to their attention via news sources. This is a charity that I am willing to donate too. I believe this organization has life changing impacts on pigs and people that adopt them. With the knowledge they share they can help people not only keep their pigs, but keep them healthy - therefore they live a longer and healthier life.