Wayward Pennsylvania pig ‘Kevin Bacon’ brought back home thanks to a Benadryl-infused sticky bun

Kevin Bacon, the 200 pound pig. (Photo: Chelsea Rumbaugh/Facebook)

By Patrick Berkery

November 3, 2023

The exploits of the wayward, Gettysburg-area pig attracted the attention of its famous namesake, who now has an invitation to visit Kevin Bacon the pig in person.

Nothing brings people together quite like a search effort for a missing pet, especially when the wayward critter is a newly-adopted 200-pound pig named Kevin Bacon.

Chelsea Rumbaugh’s family already had three piglets when they brought Kevin Bacon home on Oct. 13. The next morning, the pig named in honor of the Philadelphia-born actor had broken out of the family’s barn in Cumberland Township, just outside of Gettysburg.

Rumbaugh said that apart from a little squealing as she hoisted him into the car with her husband to bring him home, Kevin Bacon didn’t show any initial signs of agitation or being a flight risk. He was introduced to the family’s piglets, and they all went to sleep in a pig pile that night. Rumbaugh checked on them first thing the next morning before leaving for work and they seemed fine. A few hours later, Kevin Bacon had hoofed it and taken off.

“My first thought is, ‘I’m never going to get this pig back,’” Rumbaugh said. “When I got home, I joined my husband, trying to see any sign of him. We had no idea where he was. We were told he was across the street at a campground where there’s a creek. I put my boots on and I’m trudging through this ice cold creek trying to see if he’s fallen in the water or gotten stuck or something like that.”

Rumbaugh posted about Kevin Bacon’s escape on Facebook and distributed fliers. Neighbors with drones pitched in to help track the pig’s whereabouts, while others helped to set traps for him. Strangers pulled over on the side of the road to help corral him. Other area residents — one who Rumbaugh said introduced himself as “the town nut job” — made bounty hunter-like assurances that they could nab Kevin Bacon.

“I had a lot of gentlemen reach out, saying ‘If I could just get eyes on him, I’ll get your pig,’” Rumbaugh said with a laugh. “They don’t realize pigs are alarmingly fast; they can book it. I could never catch it.”

While Rumbaugh estimates Kevin Bacon never traveled more than a half-mile from home, the problem in finding him was the dense woods surrounding the rural area where her family lives. They could lure the pig out with food and get close to him, but, eventually, he’d slip back into the wooded area.

Rumbaugh began documenting the search, setting up the Facebook page, Kevin’s Home Adventures, which now has more than 2,000 followers. Kevin Bacon’s famous namesake caught wind of the effort to bring home the wandering pig and posted about it on Threads.

It was through the Facebook page that Rumbaugh received the suggestion that ultimately brought Kevin Bacon back home on Tuesday.

“There was a woman who said to put out donuts,” Rumbaugh said. “I’m driving home from work, so I stopped at the gas station and got a little six-count of sticky buns.I had pet-safe Benadryl, so I thought ‘I’ll just pop a couple of those on, that’ll help.’ I put that out at night because I knew he was out every morning before I was. I wanted him to get that in his system. The next morning (the sticky bun) was gone by 8 a.m. And we had him by noon.”

Rumbaugh said Friday morning that Kevin Bacon is settling back into his new home — which includes reinforced fencing around the barn — quite nicely.

“He’s more relaxed, and every day we’re getting a little bit closer toward affection from Kevin,” Rumbaugh said. “He’s getting along with the piglets. They sleep together. He has learned the sound of the food bag, and comes running. He knows the times we feed the pigs. He knows where the bathroom is. He makes his own bed at night. And this morning, I even got to give him a little bit of a head scratch. That was pretty cool.’”

Wayward Pennsylvania pig ‘Kevin Bacon’ brought back home thanks to a Benadryl-infused sticky bun

Kevin Bacon, the pig, and his piglet “family” at home near Gettysburg. (Photo: Chelsea Rumbaugh)

Rumbaugh said she would love for human Kevin Bacon and his wife, actor Kyra Sedgwick — who now have a farm in Connecticut — to pay a visit to Kevin Bacon the pig.

“I would love to talk to him and share what we’re doing on our farm and just get some advice, because human Kevin Bacon has a farm as well with pigs,” Rumbaugh said.

While Kevin Bacon’s nearly three-week odyssey on the lam created a fun social media moment and ultimately had a happy ending, Rumbaugh sees a calling beyond the viral story. She wants her family and her pigs to be of service to the community. The goal is to have a working farm that’s open to the public, where the pigs can serve as therapy animals to neurodivergent adults and children.

“I feel like there’s a great need for a fun activity where you can go with kids that get overwhelmed easily, adults too,” Rumbaugh said. “Who doesn’t want some pig snuggle therapy when things are hard? We live in a town with several colleges. If it’s exam week, come on over, snuggle a pig, know that everything’s going to be alright. And the ultimate goal would be the opportunity to create jobs for people who might have a hard time holding down a job due to mental health conditions.”

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