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A ‘pig-ture’ perfect team: Adults at The Shops learn value of teamwork by taking care of pigs

 

Catherine Kortlandt

The Shops at Devereux’s Greenhouse, which provides employment and training opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities served by Devereux Pennsylvania – Adult Services, recently adopted a pair of pigs.

Work is never “boar-ing” at The Shops at Devereux’s Greenhouse. The Greenhouse, which provides employment and training opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities served by Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania – Adult Services, recently adopted a pair of pigs – Sloppy Joe and Flop.

The adults who work at the Greenhouse are helping staff take care of the divine swine and, by doing so, are strengthening their social skills and learning the importance of teamwork and responsibility.

“The pig siblings are a wonderful addition to the Greenhouse,” said The Shops Program Administrator Kirk Smith. “We adopted them from a farm in New York, and they bring so much joy to everyone they meet. Our Greenhouse staff and the individuals we serve take excellent care of the animals, ensuring they remain healthy and happy.”

Embracing new responsibilities

Work Trainer Maryann Lamoureux, who leads the team of self-described animal lovers at the Greenhouse, says they are determined to provide the cute creatures with a comfortable life.

“The pigs have an indoor and outdoor pigpen that we built together – we’re very proud of it,” Lamoureux shared. “The pigs love to go swimming in their piggy pools to keep cool in the summer. Then, in the winter, they cuddle to keep warm. While they are a lot of work, we enjoy every minute of it.”

Lamoureux says the adults, who assist in every aspect of the greenhouse from planting, watering and harvesting to grinding hot peppers and making salsa and pesto, have embraced their new responsibilities.

“Pigs eat a lot, so the individuals we serve help chop vegetables for them,” Lamoureux explained. “In addition, our adults fill water bowls, spread and clean hay, and assist in regular pig checkups, which involves examining the animals for ticks, cleaning their ears, bathing them and, of course, giving them lots of belly rubs. This has been an incredible experience for our adults who are showing the animals love and respect, and are working together as a team.”

About the Greenhouse

Located in Devon, Pennsylvania, the Greenhouse is one of several specialized workshops that function as small businesses, producing goods and services for the public.

The Greenhouse, which is open to the public, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., offers specialty and seasonal plants; seasonal landscape and indoor greenery; and fresh and dried herbs.

If you have question about the Greenhouse or would like to place an order, call (215) 817-3576 or email Maryann Lamoureux.

Learn more about The Shops at Devereux, and learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.

 

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