Jersey Proud: Hamilton the pig saves war vet from house fire
A war veteran lost almost everything in a house fire in Union Township, but it could've been worse if not for an emotional support pig.
Gilbert Anaya and Hamilton, or Hammy, have been roommates for six years but their bond reached a new level when Anaya says Hamilton saved his life.
"He probably saw the fire and thought panic and fear and just ran out, but he was trained to open and close doors so when he came out, he must have just instinctively spun around and closed it," says Anaya.
When the smoke finally woke him up, he says he raced outside and then into the engulfed garage to check Hamilton.
But the pig was already grazing in the backyard.
Hamilton and Anaya's other service animals are part of his therapy. He was a combat medic in the Navy for a dozen years, including a tour in Afghanistan.
Since the fire, Anaya's landlord is helping him out by feeding Hamilton as part of her routine.
"No not in my wildest dreams did I think I was gonna be coming up here to feed a pig every morning," says landlord Jackie Rodale, of Manalapan.
Anaya could tell when Hamilton was a piglet -- he was special. As he grew to several hundred pounds, Anaya says he thought about finding him another home but had no luck.
Now, he can't imagine life without him.