Perry Smith and his family hit a snag in their ski plans on Friday when the resort they were headed to in Pennsylvania closed ahead of the massive blizzard last weekend.
The family decided to stay at a hotel in Maryland to wait out the storm. But on their way, Smith noticed a "white, pink lump" in the snow along the side of the road. The family pulled over to discover it was a pig.
"My inital thought was it was a raccoon walking along the side of the road," Smith told BuzzFeed News. "But there was a trail so I stopped and said, 'Let's go back and take a look.'"
His son Perry Smith Jr., who was in the passenger's seat, rolled down the window as the car rolled up to the side of the animal.
"What is that thing?" Smith asked.
"Dad, I think it's a pig," said his son.
Smith said the pig was very still and he was not sure if it was dead or alive. He picked it up and it let out a piercing squeal.
The family didn't hesitate to bring the young pig into the car. Smith's daughter wrapped the shivering piglet in her sweatshirt until they reached the hotel. They snuck the pig into the hotel, despite its no-pet policy, where they nursed it to health.
The family took shifts caring for the pig, which continued to shiver through the night, said Smith.
The animal appeared to have frostbite behind his ears and was covered in scrapes and bruises, he said.
By the next morning, the pig was drinking water and eating. It also ventured out of the tub to explore the hotel room. The family discovered that it prefers bananas over most any other food they offered him.
The family named the piglet Wee Wee after their uncle's imaginary friend, who was a mischievous pig.
Smith's brother's imaginary friend became a family legend.
"If he got in trouble, he would say that Wee Wee made him do it," said Smith.
Although the family has become attached to Wee Wee, they are unable to care for the pig at their home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where it has been living since the family left the hotel on Sunday.
But after a few searches online, Smith found Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Maryland, a permanent farm animal sanctuary that cares for about 200 animals including 50 pigs.
Terry Cummings, co-founder and co-director of the sanctuary, told BuzzFeed News that the organization receives several calls a year from people who find farm animals abandoned on the side of the road.
"Pigs are one of the more common ones to be found because these transport vehicles to take them to auctions are not very secure, and pigs will jump out of the windows or fall out," she said. "I think that's probably what happened to this little pig."
The family drove Wee Wee up to the farm on Wednesday where he will grow to be between 900 and 1,000 pounds, said Cummings.
Wee Wee will live in the farm house until he grows to be about 40 or 50 pounds, which will make him big enough to join the other pigs.
The pigs have several mud pits to play in, as well as a creek that runs through the four-acre pasture.
Cummings said the pigs like to wade into the creek water during the summers to stay cool and graze on the grass between meals.
Smith said the decision to save Wee Wee from the snow was simple.
"He was an animal in distress," he said. "It was a simple choice and I said, 'We have to do the right thing here.' We were immediately on board with it. We're not going to leave this animal on the side of the road because if we do it'll die."
The family plans to visit Wee Wee as the pig grows up at the animal sanctuary.
Leticia Miranda is a retail reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Leticia Miranda at email@example.com.
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