General Services Team Coordinates Pig Rescue at State Library and Archives Building

May 20, 2024

It’s a normal part of Conservator and Interim Archives Administrator Jo Anne Martinez-Kilgore's job to assess what’s going on in and around the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records building in Phoenix. She needs to know what elements, infestations or other variables might affect the storage or preservation of Arizona’s permanent records and historical collections that are housed there. In her career, she’s dealt with rats, pigeons, humidity and more. But on May 13, Martinez-Kilgore found herself addressing a very unusual situation outside the building: two potbellied pigs rooting in the ground and staying in the shade to escape the heat. 

Martinez-Kilgore called Facilities Operations and Maintenance, part of the ADOA General Services Division, and they coordinated a response. 

According to a neighbor across the street, the two pigs were unloaded from a van early that morning; the unexpected visitors were spotted by building staff around 7 a.m.. Martinez-Kilgore put out some buckets of water to help the pigs from overheating. The high temperature that day reached 99 degrees, and she said the pigs were digging around in the dirt and fighting over a shady spot. 



The General Services Division called Grounds Lead Supervisor Douglas Hayes to help corral the animals. Hayes said that the Department of Public Safety had also been on site and that he helped answer questions and coordinate until the Arizona Department of Agriculture arrived with a livestock trailer to help collect the pigs. 

Lt. Manny Angulo from the Department of Agriculture said the pigs were overall in good shape when he arrived but would have posed a danger if they wandered into oncoming traffic. One was lured into a crate with marshmallows, but when the other couldn’t be coaxed into a crate, Martinez-Kilgore was sent to find another kind of bait.

“At 5 p.m. I went down and [Lt. Angulo] was there. He had one he had gotten into a crate and one was resisting. He had marshmallows, but the marshmallows weren’t working. So he asked if we had any pastries or corn. So I went up to our breakroom and found some carmel corn and a Twinkie,” Martinez-Kilgore said. “He used the carmel corn to get the pig to the entrance of the crate and then he put the Twinkie in the crate, and the pig went in after the Twinkie.”

Angulo—whose day-to-day work includes animal welfare in addition to investigating cattle theft and native plant violations—said that both pigs were young and were taken to a rescue where they can be adopted out or live permanently at the rescue. He noted that it’s illegal to dump livestock of any kind. Now that temperatures are rising, he anticipates receiving additional calls from the public about the welfare of horses and livestock and the heat effect on saguaros. 

Martinez-Kilgore said she appreciated the teamwork involved in getting the pigs to appropriate care.

“I really like that everybody kind of worked together and everybody cared that these pigs were OK,” she said. “I could tell that the team at ADOA FOAM were really concerned, and I was too. I didn’t know what in the world to do! I just knew it wasn’t a great place for them.”