Nancy Bolanis, a former New Canaan resident, has published a children's book, "Willow-Mia Pig, 1 in 100 Million."

"Willow-Mia Pig" introduces young readers to the importance of the humane treatment of animals.

Bolanis, who graduated from New Canaan High School in the late 1970s, early on felt a strong connection to animals. After graduating from high school and then college, she enrolled in medical school at Wayne State University in Detroit and then Emory University in Atlanta for residency and fellowship. After completing her residency and fellowship, she went on to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston for another two-year fellowship. She now is a neuro-radiologist in a private practice in the Boston area.

Throughout her adult life, her interest in the humane treatment of animals has never waned, and she has become an ambassador to many organizations that continue to ensure that animals have a voice, thus limiting those practices that bring harm to and exploit them.

Bolanis remembers the acts of cruelty that were often done to animals by neighborhood kids when she was growing up, not unlike the recent decapitation of a cat found on Laurel Street in New Canaan, clearly the work of human hands.

In 2012, she decided to bring her own interest in the humane treatment of animals to a whole new level by answering a "pig plea" that she heard on a local news station. A piglet, presumed to have fallen out of a truck, was rescued on Route 495 in Massachusetts. It was fortunate to have found its way to the roadside without being hit by a car. After seeing Willow-Mia Pig through to a safe haven, Nancy was inspired by Willow-Mia Pig's journey and decided to share it with children. Her goal is to ensure that both children and adults become more aware of the importance of treating animals with love and kindness.

The piglet became the focal point of the website, as well as her children's book, "Willow-Mia Pig, 1 in 100 Million," which is illustrated by Donna Secour.

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Recently appointed to the Mass Medical Society, Bolanis has been an active supporter of the NEADS program, whereby dogs are trained, sometimes by prisoners, to be assistance dogs.

"There are many prisoners who through their own misfortune have landed in prison, but are truly animal lovers and have the necessary skills to train these animals for those in need," she said.

Bolanis has been a strong supporter of the Humane Society of the United States and became involved with the Animal Rescue League when she responded to the plea for a home for Willow-Mia Pig.

She is supporting a bill to ban factory farming in Massachusetts.

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