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Our Story

A Sanctuary to Snout About!


Our story began in 2003 when we gave a home to a beautiful rescued horse named Winnie.  Winnie had an illustrious career as a show horse, but when drought hit Alberta in 2003, there was no hay to feed the animals and she was sent to slaughter.  Winnie was 18 years old when she joined our family and considered way past her prime.

In 2004, we leased a farm and moved our 5 horses.  The farm became an equestrian facility and we began rescuing and rehabilitating horses, donkeys and ponies.  'Bella Misty Meadows' was born.  We saved over 150 equines in the 6 years we lived there and provided programs for adults and children. 

We've  had many different species of animal over the years, but we didn't get our first pigs until 2010.  Gordon and Cosmo,  pot-bellied pig brothers, were at risk of losing their lives so we agreed to take them in.  We honestly knew nothing about pigs and it was a steep learning curve!   

During that year we decided it was time for us to find a permanent home for our animal family.  In November 2010, we moved 17 horses, ponies and donkeys, 2 pot-bellied pigs, a goat and an alpaca to our own farm  in Norfolk County!  It was a big move, but well worth it!

Today, our sanctuary is located on Simcoe County, Ontario and is named for a little pig who lost his life way too young, but who taught us so much in his short time with us.  Ralphy was only 9 months when he joined our family in 2013.  He was joyful, playful, affectionate and all the wonderful things a pig should be!  He helped us become aware of the plight of the pot-bellied pig, and when he died, we decided to rename the sanctuary after him and specifically help pot-bellied pigs.  Although, we still have other species of animal living at Ralphy's, today we dedicate our time and resources almost exclusively to the pot-bellied pig.

Ralphy's Retreat is our home and as such is a private sanctuary.  We open for group tours during the summer months, and we have two larger events at the sanctuary in June and Labour Day weekend for those who want to meet our family and see what we do.

We hope you can visit us soon!

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