TWO huge pigs which were spotted roaming the streets of an Essex town have been rescued and an £8,000 fundraiser launched to help build them a permanent home.

A nine-day rescue mission took place after the pigs, which are believed to have been abandoned, escaped and ran loose through the streets of the town.

Residents in Billericay banded together to help secure the safe rescue of the pigs.

Volunteers - A range of people banded together to save the pigs Volunteers - A range of people banded together to save the pigs (Image: Sharon Davies)

Affectionately named Billy and Ricky, the second pig was finally rescued last Friday but now the “real challenge” has begun of finding safe homes for them to be looked after.

Now, the community is hoping to build a new enclosure which will be staffed by volunteers for them to be looked after in Billericay.

Sharon Davies, a Billericay resident and former wildlife rescuer at South Essex Wildlife Hospital and Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, said: “It’s been an incredibly tricky situation, our plan now is to build a little sanctuary, but the pigs need to be quarantined away for at least two weeks, we need them vaccinated, they need another enclosure to be built and they are both male, so we had them castrated.

“Ricky is adept at breaking out of things and we have to make it able to withstand that.

Pig - Billy in his new temporary homePig - Billy in his new temporary home (Image: Sharon Davies)

We need £3,000, then £,3000 more for vet’s bill and the price of sedation, as we called down a vet from Gloucester.

“It’s also for their first year vet’s bills, husbandry and their first year of future care, they’ve even had to have teeth taken out.”

Sharon and more than 20 volunteers from Billericay managed to herd Billy into a carrier on the first day of the breakout, but Ricky managed to evade capture six times, only managing to be caught after he was fed and then shot with a tranquiliser rifle.

“We had so much fear he would be attacked by dogs or hit by a car, people were also reluctant to call the police”, she said.

“So many amazing people spent hours throughout the day and night trying to secure his safety.

“There were no end to the measures they were prepared to put in place to secure his safe capture.”

The fundraiser can be found at: