Volunteers needed to cuddle pigs

Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary in Leesville, South Carolina is seeking volunteers to cuddle pigs and, eventually, adopt the animals as pets. The organizations rescued more than 200 pigs from a Kentucky property about a year ago. After suffering abuse and neglect, the pigs need more human time before they are ready for their forever homes.

"These pigs weren't socialized because they lived in such large numbers," said Joshua Carpenter Costner, the sanctuary's director of operations. "We noticed how quickly a lot of them were coming around when we spent time with them, and in order to find them homes, we thought it was a good idea to have people start coming out."

According to the ad posted on Facebook, "belly scratches, cookies, sitting with, and even just talking to our pig friends can get them ready for their new home."

(CNN)

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I had a close encounter with a grizzly bear

I've always felt a spiritual connection with grizzly bears. They're slow, chunky and have an overwhelming affection for peanut butter--just like I do. From time to time, I'm fortunate enough to spot one, or at least the signs of one's passing, while we're in Alberta. But, as they generally don't want anything to do with people, being able to spend a prolonged amount of time with one is an incredible treat.

It's a treat that I had the opportunity to partake in earlier today.

Around 30 minutes outside of Bozeman, Montana, we saw the first sign for it: Montana Grizzly Encounter. I wasn't into it at first: captive bears aren't cool. I checked out their website as we drove. Rescue bears. Rescue bears are very cool. Five minutes later we were pulling into the Montana Grizzly Encounter. Sixteen bucks for two adults and a score of steps later, we were in.

MGE was founded in 2004 and has been giving homes to bears rescued from cruel captivity ever since. Five of the six bears that MGE shelters were rescued from inhumane situations from all across the United States. Their sixth bear, Bella, was an orphan discovered in Alaska. On her own, she wouldn't have stood a chance. At the sanctuary, she's living the best life that she possibly can. You won't find any bars or cages at MGE. The bears have a temperature controlled enclosure that they can enter or exit as they please. There's a large area for the bears to do bear things in outside of the public eye. Read the rest