Our Productions

Hero Animals: The Pig That Called For Help

  • 2009
  • 30 mins
  • Channel 5/ National Geographic

Episode 5 of 6-part series for Channel 5/National Geographic.

The Pig That Called for Help is a drama-documentary recounting how a pet pig summoned medical attention for a dying woman.

Heart patient Jo Ann Altsman was alone when she collapsed while holidaying in Pennsylvania. Alone, that is, except for Lulu, her pet pot-bellied pig.

Wracked by chest pain and with no people in earshot, Jo Ann feared a new heart attack would be her last. But Lulu knew that the door flap led to a path, the path led to the road and the road led to traffic and people. So for 45 minutes, the animal trotted between the Jo Ann and the road.

When at last a man pulled over to investigate, Lulu led him straight to Jo Ann.


'If you've not seen the show so far, then be sure to tune in. Each instalment of Hero Animals merges eyewitness testimony with expert insight to recount some truly extraordinary tales.' - Western Daily Press
‘Five’s legendary forays into the animal kingdom’ - The Herald
‘Don’t get confused by today’s date: this amazing story is entirely true…….. Watch this and the bacon will never sizzle quite as sweetly again.' - London Lite
'Here's another of those heart-warning stories all about humans who have been saved by animals' - Eastern Daily Press


  • Narrator:
    Paul Viragh
  • Photography:
    Mark Hammond
  • Music:
    Al Lethbridge and Audio Network
  • Editors:
    Paul Boobyer and Michael Sharck
  • Producer/Director:
    Adam Mallins
  • Executive Producer:
    Sarah Cunliffe