We can’t introduce you to our animals without first telling you about Hercules. Our namesake, Herc was born on October 20, 2016 near North Liberty. His mother, Fiona, had a surprise litter and unfortunately abandoned three of the five piglets. We worked to save all three, but Hercules was the only one to survive. He was a bit spunky and obstinate, but loved mulberries, belly rubs and sleeping under a blanket. In the warm months, Hercules filled his days nibbling in the pasture, lounging in his pool, playing chase with the horses, napping and composing Haiku poetry. We lost Hercules shortly after his second birthday. On November 24, 2018, he suffered a heart attack caused by a congenital cardiac defect. Everyone at the Haven is still stunned to have lost our little boy. Hercules lives on as our guardian angel. Now, let’s introduce you to his friends at the Haven!
Solo "The Mighty Duck"
Solo came from a local farmer who kept ducks as a seasonal attraction. He was destined for a fall dinner but instead was graciously surrendered to the Haven in November 2017 instead. Solo loves to forage, explore the property and keep our chickens out of trouble.
Lafayette "Kind Gentleman"
Lafayette, Alcide’s brother, spends his days in the warm sun or in the cozy hay pile in the Pig Palace. He is a well-mannered gentleman with a kind heart who loves scratches behind his ears.
Boots "My Boots are Made for Walking"
Boots and Mr. Chompers were transported by Madison’s Heartland Animal Sanctuary in November of 2017. They grew up at a petting zoo, were rescued by a private party but had to be surrendered to a new home. Our goat friends may be small, but they are mighty! Boots is still recovering from over-exposure to people at the petting zoo. He is slowly warming to life at the Haven
Mr. Chompers "Sir Head-Butts-A-Lot"
Mr. Chompers is making great progress from his days at the petting zoo. He approaches his Haven caregivers occasionally nibbles his human friends. Mr. Chompers doesn’t let the big goats push him around…he is our flying head-butt champion.
Free range girls (and boys) at their best. The flock is friendly and eagerly approaches visitors in the hopes of getting treats.
Juno "Haven Cuddle Coach"
Juno was rescued in August 2017. She was in a row of crates next to three dying calves. We could not save them all, but we were able to save this little angel. She loves to romp with the pigs and dogs. As the lone sheep on the farm, she may be a bit confused about her species…is she a dog, a pig, or a horse? Who cares…all are welcome here!
Joey "Eeyore Impersonator"
Joey is an eight-year-old mini-horse trained to pull a cart. His original owners surrendered Joey, because his “lumpy jaw” made him undesirable to show. He joined our team in March of 2017. Joey is fond of apple snacks and loves to antagonize Finn. Like many of our animals, our pal Joey is on a special diet to ensure he stays healthy.
Juniper "Little One"
Juniper was born on a small Angus farm in Southwest Iowa in 2019. Her owner died of a sudden heart attack and his family didn’t want to see the heard go off to slaughter. Sanctuaries across the Midwest worked to find them forever homes. Juniper and her mother, Rose, arrived feeling overwhelmed but were welcomed to a loving home.
Rose "Mama Rose"
Rose is the best mama. She never lets Juniper out of her sight and is happy to share her meals. She grew from being afraid of people to following human friends around the farm and is now making friends with the goats and horses. The world sees Angus cows as a commodity, we see her as a beautiful soul.
Ginger "Farm Mom"
Ginger is the queen of the farm. In her youth, she nearly lost her tongue in an accident. As a 24-year-old beauty, she is enjoying semi-retirement, relaxing on green fields and enjoying the occasional romp with Tess.
Fiona "The Grouch"
Fiona is a potbelly pig born in 2014 and adopted by the Haven in 2016. She lives with her daughter, Aphrodite. Fiona loves sunrises and snacks of all varieties. As the mother of our namesake (that’s right, Fiona is Herc’s mom), Fiona has a very protective personality and demands respect.
Tess "Haven Diva"
Tess (White Pass) was born in 2014 and had a short racing career that left her permanently disabled. She can never again be raced or ridden. Even as the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Secretariat, thoroughbreds like Tess can face slaughter if not rescued. She was brought to the Haven by our friends from Unbridled Spirits Thoroughbred Retirement Ranch. Tess longs to be the center of attention and will let you know if she feels slighted.
Bob "Leader of the Pack"
Bob is the kind, benevolent leader of Team Goat. He has worked hard to recover from a life-threatening brain infection. Our angels from the Anamosa Vet Clinic saved this guy’s life! He now is struggling with some arthritis in his joints as he ages, but daily medications help him manage the discomfort. Bob looks forward to his nightly medication hidden in a strawberry (wait, maybe it’s the strawberry he looks forward to….). Our goat leader loves being brushed and scratched.
Bailey "Friend to Everybody"
Bailey is a bit of a trouble maker. He loves to sneak into the horse pasture and romp with the giants. Bailey is devoted to his brothers (Benny and Bob) and is excellent at racing for pine branches. Alpine goats prefer Christmas trees over any other snacks!
Benny welcomes everyone who visits the barn. You can stare into his big, beautiful eyes for hours. He prefers to always be near his brothers and never gets into mischief — unless everyone else is up to shenanigans. Benny loves snacks of all kinds, but fruit is his favorite. Give our pal a slice of apple or a strawberry and you may have a friend for life!
Sawyer "Snuggle Buddy"
This joyful little potbelly was born in August 2020 and rescued from an animal hoarder. An Iowa family tried to adopt Sawyer but couldn’t live up to his demands for cuddles. Now, he gets plenty of attention at the Haven. He loves to sleep under blankets and curl up next to Beatrice.
Babe "Mud Bath Queen"
Early in September of 2017, the Cave family of Council Bluffs found Babe covered in road rash on I-80 after she leaped from a hog truck traveling at high speeds on the highway. Babe was a tiny 25 pounds on arrival to the Haven but has grown to over 600 pounds! She spends her days eating fresh fruits and veggies, taking spa days in her mud hole and cuddling at night with her BFF Blossom.
Aphrodite "Learning to Love Belly Rubs"
Meet Hercules’ litter mate born in 2016. Aphrodite is shy and loves treats. She is learning to welcome people and has most recently allowed a select few volunteers the honor of becoming her friends. Aphrodite lives in the Pig Palace with her other herd mates.
Alcide "The Lounge Singer"
Alcide loves to sing! He and his mini pig brothers came to the farm in September of 2016 when their mother was in failing health. As our first pigs, they were great ambassadors to the world of snouts and routing. Alcide loves people and makes the most amazing sounds of exuberance. Stop by for a tune when you visit the farm!
Apollo "Protector of the Couch"
Apollo came to us from the Cedar Valley Humane Society in 2016. He was a six-month-old import from Tennessee. Our couch king loves to snuggle and has and amazingly small bladder.
Bea "Worlds Best Belly Flopper"
Bea was picked up by Cedar Rapids Animal Control in the summer of 2018. They knew that instead of incarceration, Beatrice needed tender care at the Haven. She was nearly blind from “morbid obesity,” had skin infections, was in dire need of a balanced diet, and craved wide open spaces. Bea bonded with Hercules while working to get in shape. Her weight was so extreme that veterinarians from the Anamosa Vet Clinic and the University of Wisconsin were unable to spay her due to her weight. Now, she is on hormone therapy to tame her heat cycles until she is healthy enough to have surgery. Bea eats a special feed that will help her lose weight and get healthy. Miss Bea hopes to be on the farm version of the Biggest Loser — she thinks that Bob Harper is darn cute.
Loki "Mischief Maker"
Who is the first to poop in the pool? Yes, It’s Loki. His is full of spunk but will give human friends a welcoming fist-bump.
Iris "The Lover"
Iris was the first of the four babies picked up by Cedar Rapids Animal Control in June of 2019. She loves attention and the occasional belly rub.
Athena "The Wise"
Athena is reserved and watches the world with a cautious eye. She was the last baby to be rescued. Her weeks avoiding pursuers made her afraid of people. Luckily, attention from the Haven Heroes has helped her feel safe and confident.
Achilles "The Quiet Hero"
He takes is job as hero seriously. Achilles protects Athena and worked to help the babies integrate with the bigger little pigs.
Odin "The Protector"
During the December 2019 Cricket Hollow rescues, Odin lead an escape with Freya. The tiny and frail sheep spent the next three days hiding in fields, thickets, and sheds. Fortunately, a Manchester farmer corralled the pair in his barn and Alison and Danny rushed the sheep to the Anamosa Vet and brought them to their forever home at the Haven. Odin will need the gentle tenacity of our volunteers. He is frightened by humans and shudders at every sound in the barn. Freya is his steadfast companion and always offers comfort. After a month of hearing the soothing voices of volunteers, he has begun to peek out from behind Freya.
Freya "Gentle Soul"
Odin lead their escape from Cricket Hollow and Freya is leading their healing at Hercules’ Haven. Freya showed the worst visible signs of neglect. She was “skin and bones” with large tufts of wool missing, but her eyes were full of longing. Our volunteers see that she is eager to learn to trust and heal. She makes soulful eye contact while inching closer to her new human friends. We don’t reach to touch her, but she has very timidly approached hands offering food. She is our key to reaching Odin and healing his trauma.
Hermes "Protector of the Farm"
Hermes, a presumed Border Collie, was six-month-old adoptee that Alison spotted on Craig’s List in 2015. He was kept in a dark basement and traumatized in many ways. He dreamed of running in sunny fields. Now that he has a farm, he has discovered the joy of jumping, running through the creek and frolicking with the mini-horses. Hermes takes his role of “protector of the pack” very seriously…and all the animals are his pack.
In October 2019 a brave young pig escaped transport between a confinement farm and the processing plant. She was marked for slaughter with paint down her back but somehow made her way to the Story County Animal Control Shelter. Her new caregivers had numerous requests to “bring her home for dinner.” Shelter staff urgently needed to find her a safe home, and the Haven answered their plea. We picked up Phoebe on November 15 and fell in love! She is loving and vivacious with no sign of trauma. After quarantine, our little miracle moved to the Pig Barn with Babe and Blossom. They have separate sleeping quarters with play dates on warm afternoons. Phoebe reminds us of the power of forgiveness and resilience. She will have long and loving life at the Haven!
Elton “Rock Star”
When piglets fail to grow on a CAFO, workers “cull” the runts with an electric shock. Early in the summer of 2020, our little star was shocked but refused to die. Something changed in the farm hand’s heart, and he brought the piglet home. Elton stayed with his new caretaker until neighbors called the sheriff. Elton is best buds with Willow, and they love mischief and raucous adventures!
Fuzzy “I’m a Survivor”
Friends of the Haven discovered this little fighter on their farm. She had lost a leg in a trap but recovered from the accident. Once moved to the Haven in 2018, Fuzzy found her calling. She loves to snuggle on laps and protect the barn. Fuzzy reminds us all that we can get through the darkest days.
Willow “Wonder Woman”
Willow escaped through the gaps of a semitrailer on May 25, 2020. She tumbled down the highway suffering road rash and a broken femur. The veterinary team at UW Madison are monitoring her recuperation and may schedule surgery. They prescribed rest and limited activity. Willow disagrees and flourishes. She wants to run, play and root!
Justice “Truth in Action”
Babies grow so quickly! Justice was a 2019 Christmas baby who was rescued from a horrific transport accident. She had a serious respiratory and hoof infection. With devoted care, she thrived and now is Phoebe’s partner in life and lives with the Big Girls – Babe and Blossom.
Sophie “Miss Head-Butt”
Sophie was a 2020 Valentines gift to the world. She could not “latch” and feed from her mother, so friends at the Haven took around-the-clock shifts caring for the newborn. Sophie has grown to be a strong and spunky partner for Juno.
Shelby “The Sentry”
Shelby was adopted from the Oklahoma Great Pyrenees Rescue and arrived the day of the 2020 derecho. Our lives were turned upside by the winds, but all hearts soothed by this gentle giant. As a pup, Shelby never messed in the house! Although, she might chew on the occasional shoe. Shelby is the Haven’s canine moose and farm sentry. She watches over the fields and alerts with a booming woof!
Magnolia “Spring Flower”
When we welcomed Momma Rose and Juniper in 2019, we had no idea that Rose had a big secret. Rose was pregnant and our veterinarian told us to prepare for a Spring surprise. Magnolia was born on April 26, 2020. Momma rose and her daughters will get to love, grow, and thrive – always together at the Haven.
Sarabi “Wild Child”
Sarabi came to the Haven in 2018 when feral cats were cleared from the Johnson County Recycling Center. She was wild and feared people. After months of patience, she began to approach her Haven friends. Sarabi loves to explore and occasionally makes appearances at Open Barn Days and campfires.
Dori “Golden Girl”
Dori was surrendered in December of 2019. She was homeless and slept in a truck. The Haven’s team welcomed her into the farmhouse, began an aggressive diet and trimmed her hooves. Dori loves to meet people and show off her slimming physique.
Odie "Police Escort"
Odie escaped a transport truck on the coldest night of 2021. The Story County Sheriff found Odie and another pig running loose after a night of -20 weather. Due to severe frostbite, the officers euthanized her companion and brought Odie to the county’s Animal Shelter. Odie lost most of her ears to frostbite, and again almost died when new Iowa regulations required her death. Intensive negotiations saved Odie, and she will get to live at the Haven forever.
Part of being an animal haven and forever home, means that we also have to say goodbye to our friends when the cross the rainbow bridge. Below are our friends who have passed on but remain in our hearts forever. We hope the time they spent with us at the Haven, long or short, was filled with joy. Until we meet again….