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Animals

Piglet used as 'football' in game of catch finds forever home after rescue

The piglet, named Earl 'Piglet Long, was officially 'pardoned' on Wednesday by Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser on the Louisiana Capitol steps.

A baby pig has another chance at life after being rescued from Mardi Gras festivities earlier this month in New Orleans, where three men were using the piglet as the "ball" in a game of catch.

Earl "Piglet" Long was officially "pardoned" on Wednesday by Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser on the Louisiana Capitol steps, .

The piglet was adopted by a Louisiana lawmaker, who will help Earl "live out his life without any threat of being thrown like a football or being part of jambalaya or boudin in someone’s kitchen here in Louisiana,” Nungesser said.

The rescue

In this image, taken from video, a piglet dubbed Earl "Piglet" Long is shown Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, in Baton Rouge, LA. The baby pig has found a permanent home after being rescued during a Mardi Gras event in New Orleans where he was being tossed like a football.

Earl was rescued by a woman who was walking by as the men were tossing him into the air, according to Jeff Dorson, director of the Human Society of Louisiana.

The woman realized it wasn't a ball they were throwing when she heard Earl's squeals. She asked them to hand the piglet over. The men yielded to the woman's request, according to the Humane Society, who was contacted by the woman to find the piglet a home.

“The rowdiness, endless parades, and party-like atmosphere often lend themselves to questionable behavior — like how three grown men behaved a few days ago,”

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Piglet kisses

As the Humane Society waited to find the right home for Earl, they raised money to cover his medical needs by exchanging "piglet kisses" for a $5 donation, .

"Piglet’s kisses are goin like hotcakes; we can tell you from personal experience that they are super sweet and a little sloppy," the group wrote.

Earl now lives on a farm in the Capitol region with Louisiana state and is expected to grow to 80 pounds.

“As a Republican, sometimes we like to cut the pork,” Ventrella said, nodding at the GOP's approach to fiscal spending. “But I will tell you this is the pork we won’t be cutting.”

In this image, taken from video, Louisiana state Rep. Lauren Ventrella, who adopted the piglet named Earl "Piglet" Long, smiles alongside Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The Associated Press contributed to this reporting.

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