Annette Wrubleski, founder of Laughing Pig Sanctuary

by | Feb 15, 2023

Annette Wrubleski–founder and president of the Laughing Pig Sanctuary, a refuge in Bartow, Florida providing a permanent home for elderly and abused pigs—recalls moving to her six-acre spread there, with “a menagerie,” and adding a piglet. But, back then, she says, she never imagined running a sanctuary, even as she fairly quickly added two more pigs to her household. But it wasn’t long before she began getting contacted by people with pigs—with mostly rough stories about those pigs. Sometimes, it was just that the “micro pig” they’d been sold had grown far too large to feed and care for. Other times, Wrubleski was contacted about a pig on the precipice of some dark fate or another —about to be slaughtered, or euthanized, or auctioned off…and, the auctions, of course, often lead to one of those other outcomes. Wrubleski has often said Yes to those requests, wryly noting about what Laughing Pig has become over the years: “I prefer to be called an assisted living facility for pigs.” Currently, there are 22 pigs residing at this assisted living facility, many of which are potbellied, some are feral, some farm/feral, and so on. Wrubleski explains she typically receives a request each day to take in one or more pigs, and says she has the capacity to accommodate many such requests. She adds that the operation of Laughing Pig (food, veterinary care, equipment, supplies, etc.) is underwritten by donations, though much of the sanctuary is “self-funded,” meaning Wrubleski covers many costs out of her own pocket. She outlines the informal policy on sanctuary visitors, and how it works for those interested in volunteering at Laughing Pig. Wrubleski provides a brief sneak preview of her talk she’ll be delivering on a panel discussion to be held at Florida Voices for Animals’ Have a Heart Annual Awards Dinner & Auction fundraiser, Feb. 25 at Solid Rock Community School, in Tarpon Springs (,

ALSO: I spoke briefly with Nancy Murrah, CEO of The Raptor Center of Tampa Bay about Nature’s Guardian, a club she created about 14 years ago for young people, age 8-18, aiming to cultivate an appreciation of nature. Nature’s Guardian meets monthly, involving educational opportunities and encounters, typically held in Hillsborough County Parks, from 10:30am to 12:30. This conversation was hooked to the February session being slated to take place in a couple of days (Feb 17), in the Golden Aster Scrub Nature Preserve. That session was labeled “Animal Tracks,” and, Murrah explained, would provide participants the opportunity to locate tracks of one critter or another, and then cast those tracks, using plaster of Paris, to create a keepsake. (



COMEDY CORNER: Donnell Rawlings’ “Wild Whale” (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  The Hit Crew’s version of “Mr. Ed Theme”


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