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No Pig In A Poke: Popular Photo Turns Out To Have Local Connections

Photo: Berkeley Firefighter Chris Van Luen and one lucky porker.

Easily the most viewed photo on our Facebook page this week involved a tender moment between a stressed-out pig and a Berkeley firefighter.

The photo was taken at an animal sanctuary in Vacaville, captured after fire had swept through the small ranch and firefighter Chris Van Luen offered a restorative swig of water to an unidentified pig we named Jezebel at the time. The photo was viewed more than 85,000 times.

When we posted we didn’t know her name, nor Van Luen’s, nor the fact that the animal sanctuary belonged to Lafayette Police Officer Vince Ones and his wife – who happens to be a dispatcher for Walnut Creek PD.

It was Vince’s wife who called him while he was on the job early Wednesday morning to give him the news no one wants to get – that fire was closing in on their homestead in Vacaville and that it was time to bug out.

Luckily, with the help of friends, volunteers, firefighters like Van Luen and others, they were able to save dogs, pigs – including Jezebel – chickens, llamas, horses, and a cow.

The good news was that everyone made it out alive. The bad news was that the Ones’ lost their home and their rescue facility, known locally as Lucky Ones Ranch, is going to need considerable work to get back up and running.

If you can spare a dollar or two for the cause, and to help care for a lucky and photogenic pig and other critters, drop by their web site and drop a buck or three into the hat.


  1. Hope they’re able to come back from this. The complete loss of a residence must be heartbreaking for the family and hard on those animals. Their obviously goodhearted people and deserving of help.

  2. Just returned after evacuation and damage was extensive although we are better off than most. If we’re not flooding we’re on fire.

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