Celebrating 40 Years of Amazing Animals: Priscilla

Animals are not just our companions, they are our heroes – guarding our homes, working as service dogs, and even rescuing their families from burning buildings. As TVMF celebrates its 40th Anniversary, we want to take a moment to recognize some of the extraordinary animals that have been inducted into the Texas Animal Hall of Fame.

In this week’s edition, we’d like to honor TVMF’s 1st Texas Animal Hall of Fame winner,  a pig named Priscilla.

Inducted: February 1985
Owned by: Victoria Herberta

Priscilla was not your ordinary pig, in more ways than one. Kept as a pet by Victoria Herberta of Houston, Priscilla followed her owner around on a leash as if she were a dog.

One day when Victoria took Priscilla with her to meet with friends at a Houston-area lake, Priscilla decided to enjoy a swim in the water. About that time, 11-year-old Anthony Melton, a non-swimmer, waded too far out into the lake, lost his footing at a dropoff ledge, and began to struggle.

Luckily for Anthony, Priscilla was swimming by within arm’s reach. Anthony managed to grab the piglet’s harness, and the two went under. Then Priscilla’s snout and ears broke the surface of the water, and, miraculously, they stayed up. Determined to get to shore, the terrified child clinging to her harness, Priscilla struggled toward safety, dragging Anthony with her until his feet touched bottom. The 45-pound pig towed the child, who was almost twice her body weight, over 150 feet to the shoreline.

Priscilla was named the first member of the Texas Animal Hall of Fame (formerly Texas Pet Hall of Fame) for her remarkable feat. She was also awarded the prestigious William O. Stillman Award by the American Humane Society.