Regina Martin, President of Hog Heaven Rescue, was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. A self-proclaimed tomboy, Regina recounts her childhood as preferring farm life and baling hay to playing “tea”. Her dedication to hard-work and service began to surface when she enlisted in the Armed Forces from 1971 – 1974 where she was trained and performed as an Army surgical nurse. Ms. Martin received an honorable discharge and recognition for her efforts during the Vietnam War, her last assignment being the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. After leaving the Army, Regina continued her civil service with the Pittsburgh police from 1978 until her retirement in 2001. Her police career spanned various positions from patrol officer to fatal accident investigation, and she was the first female, motorcycle police officer in Pittsburgh. Participating in the Detective Division/Crime Unit, International Guard Weapons Security, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team, and the Pittsburgh Police Honor Guard, Regina received three commendations for her dedicated work.
Life was not “all work and no play” for the indefatigable Martin, as she volunteered her non-working hours to raising a family and various community services including Allison Park’s handicapped riding program, fundraising for the Shriner’s Hospital, and membership in the Blue Knights (a nationwide motorcycle/law enforcement club). Regina served as president of the largest chapter of the Blue Knights (PA7) from 1999 – 2001. As a Blue Knight, she raised public relations, and participated in charitable endeavors such as Make-A-Wish and Project Bundle Up. She is currently a member of Backyard Brayers, the Penne Equine Counsel, and an approved transport/handler for the Tamarack wildlife rehabilitation program. In 2003, Regina completed the Pennsylvania Humane Officer training and is a member of the local and national humane societies.
Throughout her life, Regina Martin had a dream of helping animals – to provide a place for animals to recuperate from injuries caused by humans. It is her greatest joy to see an animal once emotionally and physically devastated, rebuild trust with people. Hog Heaven’s farm was purchased in 1998 in partnership with retired police officer, David Allman. Together, Regina and David have built Hog Heaven Rescue to rescue and rehabilitate, then foster out abused, neglected and unwanted hoofed animals into loving homes. Hog Heaven was incorporated and established as a non-profit organization in 2000. Over the years, numerous homes have been found for recovered horses, mules, donkeys, goats, and pot-bellied pigs.
Hog Heaven Rescue Farm, Inc. operated for the first three years primarily on the personal funds of the founders with relatively small public donations. Today, Hog Heaven continues to prosper from growing donations and volunteer efforts. Daily coordination of volunteers, routine farm duties for feeding and care, as well as supportive interaction with other regional programs are the challenges Regina faces with energy and passion. Regina Martin continues her life of service, offering her time and talents to making a difference in the lives of neglected, abused and unwanted animals.