The Most Adorable Peterborough Video Of 2018 Might Be These Meerkats With A Halloween Pumpkin At Peterborough Zoo

A cute video the Riverview Park & Zoo recent posted to their Facebook page is getting thousands of views across various social media platforms.


The zoo thanked all the people that dropped off pumpkins there after Halloween, as the pumpkins are great enrichment for many of their animals. The pumpkins were definitely a smashing success for the Meerkats.

The post has become of our most retweeted of 2018…

Watch the Riverview Park & Zoo’s original video that has amassed nearly 12,000 views so far on their Facebook page…

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Watch: Bullet The Pig On PTBOCanada Show

Bullet on  PTBOCanada  show. He loves his Cheerios!

Bullet on PTBOCanada show. He loves his Cheerios!

On Episode 27 of PTBOCanada, our Neil Morton interviews Sarah Heydon, owner of the local celebrity pig Bullet the Pig, who appears at many events.

Sara discusses the amazing impact Bullet has had on her life… and the life of many others.

Sarah Heydon on  PTBOCanada

Sarah Heydon on PTBOCanada

Watch our interview with Sarah (and Bullet) below, and learn more about Bullet in this recent article we did about him…

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Fall In Love With A Peterborough Piglet Named Bullet Having An Impact On So Many

Most people choose dogs or cats as pets, or perhaps a hamster, ferret, fish or bird. Sarah Heydon grew up that traditional route as well with cats and dogs, but when she got a pet pig named Bullet about a year and a half ago, it changed her life.

She completely fell in love with Bullet—they actually even share a birthday, May 24th—as have all those that meet this outgoing, adorable piglet at events and on walking trails. Indeed, he’s becoming a bit of a celebrity—and even has his own Instagram page.

But before we continue with the now about the impact this mini-pig has had on her and others, let’s back up to the beginning, to the Once Upon A Time.

Sarah’s journey with Bullet began when she saw a post that someone had put into the Peterborough Buy and Sell Facebook group. The woman was trying to sell a litter of pigs, and specified "For pets only, not food."

This was when Sarah realized that perhaps having a pig in her home was in the realm of possibility. The only connection to pigs Sarah had up until this point in her life was limited to the fact that she had made a deliberate choice not to eat pig meat as a child, something she’s carried into adulthood now as a vegetarian.

Sarah with Bullet

Sarah with Bullet

“I began to research if owning a pig was a feasible option for me,” Sarah tells PTBOCanada. “I started reading online resources and made connections to knowledgeable breeders for several weeks before I decided to commit. When I checked Kijiji, I found there were plenty of pigs in the area being re-homed. I drove to Oshawa to meet Jackson (soon to be renamed Bullet), whose family had put him up for adoption. This tiny 12-week-old piglet immediately stole my heart, and the rest as they say, is history.”

Sarah brought the piglet home to her place in Peterborough that she shares with her partner Shane Curry, potty training him in her backyard in a matter of a day or so, and training him on the leash quickly as well.

She changed his name to Bullet, as she is an Armed Guard and shoots at a firearms club in Cobourg. Bullet spends some time in the backyard, but is a bit of a diva compared to the younger pigs Sarah has now, preferring to be warm and cuddled up inside. Just like many humans, he is not a big fan of the rain or the cold.

He’s also had a bit of a rough stretch lately, as he lost his best buddy Pearl the Pig (also adopted), who Sarah had to put down unexpectedly this summer due to a twisted intestine that she couldn’t recover from—even after surgery.

Best buddies: Pearl and Bullet

Best buddies: Pearl and Bullet

Bullet and Pearl loved to go with Sarah and Shane to the Harold Town Conservation Area trails and explore. Bullet got depressed when Pearl passed away, and at this point turns up his nose a bit to the seven month old pigs—Piper (the “P” a nod to the deceased Pearl) and Ivy—that Sarah has now.

”Pigs tend to do better with a friend, as they are social animals,” Sarah explains. “Pearl and Bullet were the ultimate pig duo, and Bullet was largely responsible for training her, as she followed him everywhere! Their bond has yet to be duplicated. Losing her was so devastating to Bullet and me. In the days after having to put her down, I realized how deeply these animals have affected my life. Pigs are wonderful.”

Shane with Bullet

Shane with Bullet

Bullet gets recognized a lot by other pet owners and hikers on the Harold Town trails, many of which know him by name. “I did not want to miss out on my favourite past time of hiking just because I have a pig rather than a dog,” Sarah tells PTBOCanada. “Harold Town is his 'happy place’.” Indeed, pigs—like dogs—love going for walks.

People regard Bullet in amazement when they spot him on the trails. He is a wonder to watch as he sprints through the forest—pigs can run a 7 minute mile—stopping to eat grass, rolling in mud, all the while never leaving Sarah’s sight. ”Bullet will explore off the trails in the trees while we walk, but he’ll come when he is called if he falls behind,” she says.

On the trails, dogs are typically more interested in Bullet than he is them. “Pigs don’t typically ‘play’ in the sense that dogs do,” Sarah explains. “They do a bit as piglets, but so far I have seen them all grow out of it for the most part. They do have random bursts of energy though, as they will sprint, run around like crazy, spin in circles, etc. Pigs will also bark like a dog when they are happy.”

Sarah and Shane with Bullet

Sarah and Shane with Bullet

Sarah gets asked a lot of questions about Bullet—”You have a pig? Why?”—and loves educating people on how these pot belly pigs actually make great pets.

“I believe pigs are one of the most misunderstood of domesticated animals,” Sarah says. “Since pigs are mainly associated with food, there is little or no education on what these beautiful animals are truly like. I will tell you first hand, they are so much more than breakfast! With hundreds of vocalizations to translate, an intellect compared to that of a three-year-old, and a tendency to explore with their mouths, they are more comparable to a toddler rather than a dog.”

Some people Sarah meets on the trails and events and beyond have told her that meeting Bullet has made them second guess what they eat, or stop eating pig products completely. “I can't help but declare Bullet as Peterborough's official ambassador for pig education, and I am merely the Liaison,” Sarah says.

The adorable Bullet

The adorable Bullet

Sarah gets asked a laundry list of questions by curious observers—including us—about having a pig as a pet. Some of the oft-repeated facts she gives:

-> Pigs can live up to 20 years
-> Mini pigs will grow to between 50 to 300 pounds, at an interval speed until approximately five years of age.
-> Sarah feeds him human food (of course, not bacon) rather than pellets, such as grain, veggies, fruit, seeds, nuts and Cheerios.
-> There is no such as “micro pigs” that stay small. “Micro pigs do not exist—it is a marketing scheme developed by breeders to sell their litters at higher price,” Sarah says.
-> They do “bark” when happy

Speaking of happy, now on to that celebrity factor that Bullet is developing. His friendly, outgoing nature—not to mention his cuteness quotient—means that his cool factor goes beyond Instagram.

He has met so many fantastic people, and become so socialized, that Sarah has started carting him around to many local events. This includes several with the Peterborough Humane Society, Peterborough Vegfest and the Keene Pumpkin Festival, to name a few. People love getting their pictures taken with Bullet, who brings joy to adults and children alike.

Chill time at home involves Bullet, Piper and Ivy sleeping on the couch while Sarah and Shane are at work. “They get gated into the living room since Bullet is known to help himself to snacks in the fridge,” Sarah says, adding that the pigs (like other animals) like to be right up in bed with the couple—Shane hates this, Sarah not so much.

Sarah’s affection for and perspective on pigs has changed her life. So much so that the couple have begun looking for a home in which they can have the space to rescue and foster other pigs—a passion project inspired by Bullet and a tribute to Pearl.

“Shane and I will look for a home with upwards of three acres,” she says. She knows full well that fostering and rescuing pigs is a bit of a battle financially, but Sarah is dreaming big and one can’t doubt that she will find a way to make it work. Pigs are her passion.

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Remember The Old Monkey House At The Zoo

Way back in the day, the Riverview Park & Zoo's Dobbin Building down at the water was known as the "Monkey House", housing monkeys and various other slithery creatures.

The zoo shared vintage old pictures on their Facebook page of that house that will be a great trip down memory lane for many. Have a look at some pics  ("feeding the carps" not included—remember those nearby?) below...


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15 Rescue Dogs Saved From A South Korean Meat Farm Have Arrived At Peterborough Humane Society

UPDATED (April 14th): The 15 dogs rescued from the Korean Meat Farms through the great work of Humane Society International have arrived at Peterborough Humane Society and are currently being vetted by a team of highly trained volunteers led by Veterinarian Dr. Bruce Robertson.

Photo courtesy Susan Dunkley, Peterborough Humane Society

Photo courtesy Susan Dunkley, Peterborough Humane Society

Before being put up for adoption, the dogs will be settling into the shelter over the weekend so that they can properly be assessed and full medical assessments can be completed to ensure that they are ready for placement in their new forever home. 

No dogs will be available for adoption this weekend, and PHS will be making an announcement when they are. An adoption application will be required for each interested family, ensuring that people who are considering an adoption of these lovely animals are aware of the implications of their breed and the special needs they will have due to their living status up until a month or so ago.

Photo courtesy Susan Dunkley, Peterborough Humane Society

Photo courtesy Susan Dunkley, Peterborough Humane Society

“This is a small example of the great work that our Peterborough team can do, especially once we are in our new facility and will have increased potential to provide the best in animal welfare both locally and globally,” says Shawn Morey, Executive Director of the Peterborough Humane Society.


ORIGINAL POST (April 13th)

Peterborough Humane Society sent a dedicated team of staff and volunteers and three trucks to Montreal on Friday (April 13th) to pick up 15 dogs rescued from a Korean Meat Farm that were brought to Canada through Humane Society International.

Peterborough Humane team and volunteers that worked together on dog transfer

Peterborough Humane team and volunteers that worked together on dog transfer

Humane Society International have worked in South Korea for the past three years and have permanently closed down 10 dog meat farms, transporting more than 1,200 dogs to safety in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Here is one of the rescued dogs being loaded onto a Peterborough Humane Society truck...

Photo courtesy Susan Dunkley, Peterborough Humane Society

Photo courtesy Susan Dunkley, Peterborough Humane Society

“Weeks ago, these dogs lived a life of severe deprivation, crammed in barren wire cages and chained to stakes in the ground on a South Korean dog meat farm," says Rebecca Aldworth, executive director for Humane Society International/Canada.

"They had no protection from the cold and were denied even the most basic of their needs, such as proper food, veterinary care and socialization. But thanks in large part to the generosity of the Eric S. Margolis Family Foundation, HSI was able to rescue these deserving dogs and bring them to safety here in Canada. We are forever grateful to the Peterborough Humane Society, and all of our incredible placement partners, for working to find forever homes for these wonderful dogs.”

One of the rescued dogs from Korea: Photo courtesy Susan Dunkley, Peterborough Humane Society

One of the rescued dogs from Korea: Photo courtesy Susan Dunkley, Peterborough Humane Society

Eighty dogs from Korea were flown into Montreal, and 15 of them will be heading to Peterborough later on Friday. They will eventually be ready to find their forever homes once they have been given a full bill of health and been spayed or neutered.

Rescue dog from Korea: Photo courtesy Susan Dunkley, Peterborough Humane Society

Rescue dog from Korea: Photo courtesy Susan Dunkley, Peterborough Humane Society

“We are extremely excited to be establishing this relationship with the team at HSI in an effort to find these beautiful dogs deserving homes in our community," says Shawn Morey, Executive Director of the Peterborough Humane Society.

"These wonderful dogs are all between eight months and a year old and did not have a favourable future ahead of them. With the support of many staff and volunteers willing to help, we are making a very positive difference in animal welfare."

Rescue dog from Korea: Photo courtesy Susan Dunkley, Peterborough Humane Society

Rescue dog from Korea: Photo courtesy Susan Dunkley, Peterborough Humane Society

Peterborough's Mike Swift, Canadian and Olympian Hockey star from the Korean Hockey team, will be on hand to greet the dogs when they arrive in Peterborough: “Being a dog lover, and having been in Korea for the past seven years, it seemed like a great fit to support yet another great endeavour by the PHS team and its volunteers," he says.

Check back to this post for more photos of the rescued dogs coming to Peterborough as we get them.

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The Zoo Introduces A New One Year Old Camel Named Baika To The Public

Riverview Park & Zoo has introduced a new camel to the public. Baika, a Bactrian camel, is about a year old and was excited to meet Zaya and Gobi, the zoo announced in a tweet.

"We're very excited to have Baika join our camel exhibit," the zoo's Manager and Curator Jim Moloney tells PTBOCanada. "She came to us from a truly amazing and world class zoo in Quebec, called Zoo sauvage de St. Félicien."

Baika First Day on Exhibit 03.jpg

"Baika is just more than a year old and she's just been introduced to our existing camels Zaya (female, 7 years old) and Gobi (male, 9 years old)," Moloney tells PTBOCanada. 

Baika First Day on Exhibit 00.jpg

Baika has actually been here for a few months, but she's been off-exhibit to meet quarantine requirements and during her initial training.

Baika First Day on Exhibit 01.jpg

Go check out Baika on Easter weekend or whenever you can get to the zoo next!

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How The Team At Riverview Park & Zoo Is Working To Save An Injured Reindeer's Eye

Aurora the Reindeer came to the Riverview Park & Zoo in the fall of 2013 when she was just 6 months old. She has been a fixture at the zoo since then, delighting kids and parents alike.

But Aurora, now 4 and a half years old, has suffered a serious eye injury—the zoo suspects she was injured by one of the other reindeer's antlers, as they can be a little feisty with each other at times. 

The zoo team works to save Aurora's eye

The zoo team works to save Aurora's eye

"When we noticed her injury, we corralled her into one of the holding buildings in the exhibit where she was sedated by one of our consulting veterinarians," Zoo manager and curator Jim Moloney tells PTBOCanada. "We then moved her to the Animal Health Centre here at the Zoo."


The injury was severe when they began treatment, Moloney tells PTBOCanada:

"Her eye had been somewhat dislodged and was protruding significantly from her eye socket. Consulting Veterinarians Dr. Sallaway and Dr. Cranfield were able to carefully return it to its normal position. They also flushed the eye and have taken precautions to keep it in place as well as to prevent infection."


Now it's a bit of a waiting game to see if Aurora's eye will heal properly, and whether she will regain her vision.

"There is a chance that there will be some permanent damage to her vision, but it is difficult to tell at this point," says Moloney. "We will have a better idea once she has had a chance to heal."


At this time, Aurora remains in the Animal Heath Centre—probably until next week—and has been having daily examinations/treatment by the Animal Care Team.

Our prayers to Aurora.

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10 Animals Chillin' Out At Riverview Park & Zoo In Peterborough





















[Photos via Riverview Zoo Facebook page]

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Lost In The Woods: The Miracle Story Of A Puppy Named Jack Missing For 49 Days

It is a story that has riveted cottagers, locals and animal lovers in Apsley and beyond since September 2nd. That is the night a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Jack went missing in the Apsley area near Peterborough.



Jack is just over one year old and he didn't have a microchip. He was wearing a black collar, and ran away after being scared (likely by fireworks, his parents Andrew and Anjelica Kotsopoulos say) from a cottage on Martin Lane that they were renting, and was last seen on Balmer Road near Highway 28.

A Facebook page called Jack Is Back Home was set up September 6th by Andrew and Anjelica that they thought would help with the search as they don't live in Apsley (they reside in Mississauga, Ont.).


This is Jack with his owners before he went missing...


The Facebook page created drew over 1,300 fans to it who became a part of the search, and helped spread the word about sightings and tips of Jack as the weeks went by—and helped connect those who were searching for Jack.

It also inspired others to create posters in the Apsley area to help find Jack.

The first solid sighting of Jack was revealed in a Facebook post on September 8th...

In a subsequent Facebook post, Andrew and Anjelica revealed that Jack is a real fighter—already a miracle dog—which gives them hope...

"When we first got our puppy Jack, he had a terrible life threatening disease called Parvovirus. He was so weak and we felt helpless because of the state he was in. Fortunately our breeder took excellent care of him and he was strong enough to recover... we were overwhelmed with happiness when we found out that he would be okay when unfortunately some of the other puppies in the litters did not make it.. we were very thankful that we were able to have him back and honestly felt that he was a miracle puppy.. we thought the worst was behind us and that jack or ourselves wouldn't have to go through anything as horrible again. We truly feel like Jack is still our miracle puppy and hope he gets returned to us soon."

Jack as a puppy

Jack as a puppy


Andrew and Anjelica never gave up, posting regularly to the Facebook page and imploring people in the Apsley area to check in their shed, boathouse, shoreline, under their decks... everywhere where a dog could be hiding.

The couple themselves regularly returned to the area, searching for Jack, getting the word out to people and putting up posters themselves.

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016

With their desperation growing, on September 12th—10 heartwrenching days after Jack went missing—the couple set up a GoFundMe page (the money raised would be used to make more signs to post in all major surrounding cities near Apsley, newspaper ads, mobile advertising, and to get a tracker out in Apsley to help lure Jack to civilization so he can be spotted) and announced a large reward for Jack.

In that announcement, the couple laid bare their feelings of what Jack means to their family and divulged more about their own passion for life—she a teacher, he a business owner—and their will to help others...


SEPTEMBER 24th (3 weeks since Jack went missing)

In a Facebook post that day, the couple thanked AID 4 PAWS - Search and Recovery and France Lajeunesse for coming to meet them in Apsley that weekend to help set up trail cameras, leaving them with a trap and spending the time helping the couple walk through some potential paths of where Jack could have wandered to.



In a Facebook post, the couple announce there have been no sightings of Jack of late, and that he did not show up on any of the trail cams. Hunting season has begun—and their hope was Jack would be spooked out of hiding and into view of people. Andrew and Anjelica refuse to give up, still posting, still postering in the area, still spreading the word. Perserving. Like they hope Jack is.

They included a map showing trails with green dots where he's been previously seen, and even included pictures of what his paw print would look like on trails...


On October 9th, the couple revealed that a solid lead they had received in Woodview turned out now not to be their dog, but a local dog returned to their family.

A subsequent post reminds the public that Jack is very skittish, compounding recovering efforts: "He is exhibiting typical signs of being in full 'survival' mode. This means he likely won't just walk up to someone or respond to usual stimulus such as calling him, whistling, squeaky toys...etc...these would actually have the opposite effect."


It has been 7 weeks—49 days—since Jack went missing, but the day everyone hoped for, the Hollywood ending, arrives when Jack is found on a tiny island in a swampy duck pond (more on that below).

Jack, The Fighter, has lost quite a bit of weight—about 13 pounds—but he's alive. Here he is being lured just prior to securing...


The couple made this heartfelt Facebook post about Jack's return:

"Andrew and I are in disbelief, and we are overwhelmed with happiness and relief to have our sweet puppy home with us. We are beyond grateful for Kyle, Max and Jake who came across Jack on a tiny island in a swampy duck pond off of Balmer and Blue Heron when they were on a canoe. They were able to contain and stay with Jack for 2 hours until Andrew and I made it up. Andrew did an amazing job staying calm when trying to get him on a leash and Jack was exhausted, yet still very happy to see us. France from AID 4 PAWS - Search and Recovery blew us away with her caring heart, knowledge and generosity. If anyone is ever put in this situation, we strongly recommend France and her team to help as this is the best option available in our personal experience. Kim from Apsley Veterinary Services and the team at Kawartha Veterinary Emergency Clinic were very compassionate, thorough and helpful in ensuring that he was okay. Despite losing 13 pounds, his blood results showed that he was still relatively healthy. Again, we would like to thank everyone in the Apsley area for coming together as a community and supporting us through this heart wrenching time. We also appreciate everyone everyone who followed us on our Facebook page for giving us your hope, prayers and positivity. Andrew and I have been uplifted with how many heartwarming people we’ve met in this journey and we will never forget how much this has helped to bring Jack home to us.

October 21st is truly a memorable day, it was actually this date last year that Andrew and I picked up Jack from our breeders when he had recovered from Parvo…! We haven’t stopped cuddling with him since. Jack truly is a warrior and is our miracle puppy... we are forever grateful to have him back in our arms."

Here is the miracle dog Jack home again...


AID 4 PAWS - Search and Recovery gave further details on the dramatic rescue in a Facebook post...

"Wow, what a day! What a great day!

Jack, a 1.5yrs old Duck Tolling Retriever went missing while cottaging in Apsley ON, Sept 2nd 2017. Up until today, there was only a couple of confirmed sightings. A lot of work went into the search for him, including Trackers Edge Kevin who came out with his tracking dogs, locals who walked the trails, John, Sandra & Pamela who helped monitor trail cams, Sherri for getting us female Tollers pheromones, our tracking/postering/consult/support of the family, and all the shares online.

Today, Jack was spotted on a tiny island just past a heavy swamp that was difficult to get at. Kyle, while canoeing, saw him, got on the island and attempted luring. At first Jack was very untrusting, but Kyle knew just what to do, based on our advice over the phone to Andrew who related it to him while we were en route to the site: get to his level, speak sweetly, and feed him trying to gain his trust. It took quite some time, but he was able to put a makeshift leash on him and keep him secured until his owner’s arrival. Andrew & Anjelica got there quickly, secured a water craft & had the coyote trap with them in case needed. But Jack quickly recognized Andrew & came right to him!

To get off this island was pretty tricky, and Andrew held on very tight to Jack on the ride back. They made it safely to shore and headed to the Kawartha Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Peterborough, where we met them. Dr Jones was great, and did a thorough exam. Jack lost approx 12lbs, had no ticks, and his blood tests came back pretty normal in spite of his journey. What a lucky boy!

We want to thank everyone who assisted in any way, shape or form, whether physically or online, through support and prayers. And especially Kyle for doing such a good job!

49 days!! 7 weeks to the day!!

Welcome back home Jack"

More on the amazing Jack in this video...

Never give up. Jack didn't. His owners Andrew and Anjelica didn't. Everyone who helped didn't.

Miracles do happen.

Share this inspiring story with others on your Facebook page.

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