Local News

Painting Pig Battles Cancer

Posted July 24, 2007

— A family with a popular artist has come to Raleigh to have the artist treated for cancer.

In this case, however, the artist is a pig, and the medical center he's visiting is the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Fran Martin of Richmond, Va., said she taught her pot-bellied buddy, Smithfield, to paint.

"Initially, I taught him how to hold the brush, how to move his head, and then how to put it on the canvas," said Martin.

Smithfield holds a brush in his teeth, aims his snout at the canvas and produces works of art that have gained him national fame, said Martin.

Smithfield and his nose for art often appear at county fairs and occasionally, even on national television, said Martin.

He came to Raleigh, however, for veternarians to remove a cancerous tumor that had completely obstructed his nasal passage, said Dr. Matthew Gerard, a large-animal surgeon.

Smithfield had the same kind of cancer four years ago, said Martin, who is spending at least $8,000 on the animal's medical expenses.

"He's gone through a lot," she said.

Smithfield is scheduled to undergo 19 radiation treaments before returning to Richmond and with luck, picking up his paintbrush once again.


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  • Thomas Jefferson Jul 25, 2007

    Strawberry: I'd be willing to bet most people with hypocritical positions don't consider themselves hypocrites! Not to say I don't hold some too.

  • tarheel22 Jul 25, 2007

    Smithfield. What an interesting name for a pig. I saw some Smithfield in Food Lion earlier today.

  • wife-of-a-concrete-man Jul 25, 2007

    devilblue- I LIKE YOU!

    I agree 100%. animals do bring such happiness, I don't care what type of animal it is.

    I live with 2 labs, 3 cats, & 2 fish. wish like mess that I had the space for many more, especially those at the animal shelters.

  • devilblue Jul 25, 2007

    How Cute Smithfield is!! I have a pbp myself and she is 18 years old. Her name is "Grunt". I however could never afford such a vet bill but would do whatever I could to make whatever time she would have left comfortable if she were to ever get very sick. Pigs are very intelligent. Smarter than alot of people I have known!!! I have taken my share of the bbq jokes but hey, it is all in fun. Animals bring me so much happiness and I could not imagine not having them around. I also have 3 dogs and 2 cats. They all get along too.

  • All child molesters should die Jul 25, 2007

    A pet rock can be family! It just depends on the person who owns it! It can be a fish, a dog, a cat, a rock, a rat, whatever. Some people do think of their pets (those alive and those not), as family.

  • All child molesters should die Jul 25, 2007

    Thomas Jefferson:

    I support the pig, as far as hoping he lives, and I LOVE pork. I don't consider myself a hypocrite; a hippo maybe, but not a hyprocrite! Hee hee!

    You have a right to feel just as you do, though. I just happen to disagree.


  • Adelinthe Jul 25, 2007

    "Pigs don't have souls, only humans."

    You err in not knowing the difference between a soul and spirit; they are two different things often not taught, or not taught fully, by current churches.

    All breathing things have a soul; a spirit is a God-given gift to those who believe and confess Romans 10:9&10. Hence, one who has believed and confessed has a body, soul and spirit, whereas one who has not has only a body and soul.

    Even plants breathe and have souls. Those who have not believed and professed Romans 10:9&10 have only a body and soul, like a plant or animal. It's what's referred to in The Bible as “carnal” i.e. earthly.

    Spirits are deemed to be unseen and unphotograpical, however, that belief, as we know, is in constant conflict as well.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

    And yes, I'm an ordained Christian minister.

  • Thomas Jefferson Jul 25, 2007

    I think some of you do not fully understand what I am saying. I'm not specifically talking about this particular pig, (and by the way anyone supporting this pig better not be a pork eater or you are a hypocrite of the highest order), I'm talking about the gross amount of resources devoted to pet animal care in this country. If you think it is not diverting resources you are mistaken. Medicine is medicine, food is food, etc,etc. I'm mostly troubled by the amount of resources used to keep a dying animal alive for just a little longer, not necessarily the keeping of pets in general.

  • jaubut Jul 25, 2007

    Hope all goes well! We have a pot belly pig and many other animals that we have spent hundreds of dollars on, they are family!

  • wab44579 Jul 25, 2007

    I'll buy a painting for W and one for Duck Cheney too.