GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – A local rescue has noticed a significant increase in the number of people wanting to surrender their pet pot-bellied pigs.
Garland Graham, founder and president of Red Dog Farm Animal Rescue Network, says they’ve rescued 58 pot-bellied pigs today. However, recently, they’re being asked to take in a new pig every three to five days.
“We can't take them all, we simply can't. We don't have enough foster homes to take all the pigs we're asked to take,” said Graham.
Graham says most people have the story.
“They've gone to breeders and been convinced that pot-bellied pigs make a great indoor pet. They will stay 30 pounds, and unfortunately, none of that is true,” said Graham.
Graham says many pot-bellied pigs are marketed as “mini” or “micro-pigs.” Although they are smaller than regular pigs, pot-bellied pigs still weigh about 100 pounds when they’re full grown.
That isn’t the only misconception.
Many owners don’t realize pigs start rooting when they’re about a year old, so they may destroy carpets and electrical cords. Some breeders even tell people to feed their pigs dog food, which leads to obesity in many pigs.
“Unfortunately, the breeders are totally money motivated. They make a lot of money off selling cute little piglets. We as a community need to be educated, so people realize this isn't a pet they need to buy and keep inside,” said Graham.
However, pot-bellied pigs are great outdoor pets.
Shanda Fauspol, a Guilford County resident, has two pet pot-bellied pigs that live on her land.
“They're so smart. They have such an amazing personality, but they also get very large as you can see,” said Fauspol. “They're farm animals. They're pigs.”
Graham suggests people foster pigs before adopting to make sure it’s a good fit.
Red Dog Farm currently has seven pot-bellied pigs available for adoption.