Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pot-bellied pigs - An Unfortunate Trend

Potbellied Pigs - An Unfortunate Trend

by R.A.S.T.A. Rescued Animal Sanctuary on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 9:06pm
Over the past ten years, R.A.S.T.A. has always had around three potbellied pigs at the sanctuary with a new surrender coming in every year or two.  However, in the last several months, we have taken in over twenty new pigs with more coming in the next couple weeks and an endless stream of calls and emails from people begging us to take their potbelly pigs.  The excuses are always the same; “we had no idea they would get so big”, “the breeder guaranteed  us she would stay small”, “we didn’t think he would be more than 50lbs.”, “we didn’t realize they were so much work”, “we had no idea how destructive they are”……etc.
R.A.S.T.A. can not serve as an endless-dumping ground for potbelly pigs and other novelty pets after people have had their fun with them (there simply isn’t enough money or land in the world). We do our best to educate the public about what is involved with caring for these animals, but unfortunately, there are many breeders out there that could care less about the well being of the animals they are selling and will use whatever unethical tactics they feel is necessary to sell and make as much money as possible.  Using such headings as “Micro Mini” & “Tea Cup Potbelly Pigs” – “Guaranteed to Stay Tiny” – “Max 40lbs.”  to attract people and fool them into what they are getting themselves into.

Contrary To What Most Potbelly Pig Breeders Would Like You To Believe:
  • There is no such thing as “Micro Mini” or “Tea Cup Potbelly Pigs” – this is simply a marketing tactic used by unethical breeders to sell more pigs
  • Miniature Pigs or Potbelly Pigs grow to an average size of 150lbs. to 250lbs. NOT 40lbs.!!
  • Potbelly pigs are called miniature pigs because when compared to their cousins, farm pigs who can grow in excess of 1,000lbs. they are obviously miniature in comparison.
  • While some breeders will declare that they have a “Special Line” or “Special Breed” of tiny pig and guarantee that it will stay small, ALL Potbelly Pigs in North America and Hawaii come from the same line.  Period!!
  • The pictures you see of tiny pigs advertised are of babies that are just a couple of weeks old.  The average Potbelly Pig weighs 50lbs. when they are six months old.
  • Some especially corrupt breeders will breed baby Potbelly Pigs as young as four months old to create the illusion to prospective buyers that the offspring will not grow larger than the parents.
  • As for the “Guarantee” that breeders give about the pigs staying small, they will not take them back when they exceed their 50lb. weight – after 15 years of rescuing Potbelly Pigs, we have yet to meet a single ethical breeder!
  • Starving or underfeeding potbelly pigs, or any animal for that matter, will not keep them small but rather cause deformities and serious health problems.
  • Potbelly Pigs are illegal in most cities and towns including Calgary!!
  • They are very expensive pets as they require an exotic animal vet.  Spaying and neutering is far more costly.  They require special anesthetic.
  • They need four hoof trims a year which most farriers (horse hoof trimmers) will not do.  A veterinary hoof trim costs an average of $300 – that’s $1,200 a year!!
  • Males grow tusks that need to be professionally maintained.
  • They require a closely monitored diet of  specialized feed (not hog grower!!) which is expensive and hard to find.
  • Potbellied pigs can be terribly destructive in the home and garden as rooting is a natural pig behavior for them.  They will rip up your lawn in no time.
  • They can become quite aggressive towards other animals and people if not socialized and trained properly.
  • They do not behave like dogs and hate being picked up and cuddled.
  • Potbelly Pigs can live for twenty five years.
  • They are not good pets for children or the average person as they require a great deal of time and expertise.
  • Potbelly pigs are pigs, which are farm animals that need to live on a farm with other pigs.
When adopting an animal, always remember to do your research and know what is involved with caring for the animal so that you can make an informed decision.

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