What would you do if you saw someone giving away pot-bellied piglets outside your local dollar store? For two elderly women in rural Virginia, that meant acting with their hearts, not their heads. They snapped up the little animals and whisked them home, because they were afraid that if they didn’t intervene, a cruel person would obtain the pigs with the intention of fattening them up and eating them.
That may sound far-fetched, but last year, a pot-bellied pig named Molly who’d been “adopted” from an animal shelter in British Columbia was killed and eaten by her new owners. So we can certainly empathize with these women. The problem was, they already had several animals at home and weren’t in any position to care for two growing piglets.
Fortunately, they knew exactly who to call: PETA. We readily agreed to help find wonderful homes for Babe and Wilbur, where they’ll be loved and cherished, not viewed as nothing more than bacon on the hoof.
A word of warning: While undeniably as cute as the hairs on their chinny-chin-chins, these piglets are still babies. When full-grown, they could weigh more than 150 pounds—as much as the average Great Dane! While pigs can be litterbox-trained, they also need plenty of room in a securely fenced yard to roam, dig, and root around. Pigs are highly intelligent, so they get bored easily and require lots of mental stimulation. They also crave companionship, both with humans and other pigs.
If you’ve been thinking about adopting a pig, please, whatever you do, never buy one from an unscrupulous breeder who markets pot-bellied pigs as low-maintenance “micro” or “teacup” “pets.” Patronizing such people only funds their continued breeding of pigs who are destined to be neglected, abused, or abandoned by unwitting buyers.
Instead of buying a pig, adopt one from a shelter or rescue organization—they’re overflowing with pigs purchased on impulse and abandoned at leisure. If you’re interested in opening the door of your straw, twig, or brick house to a porcine companion or two, e-mail us at [email protected] to find out how you can give these piglets a fairy-tale ending.