Why do people get rid of their pet pigs?
This article is based on excerpts of an article written by Alice Randall Riley
The Pig Placement Network was formed due to an increased population of
unwanted potbellied pigs. The number of abandoned pigs escalates steadily.
Dedicated clubs and pig people are trying their best to help these poor
animals, but it is not an easy task. Susan Armstrong (Ross Mill Farm) formed
pig Placement Network, in response to this problem.
Originally the group was a part of the Delaware Valley Potbellied Pig
Association and it was called Project Save a Babe, now it is a separate
incorporated Society providing adoption and rescue services as the Pig
The name may have changed, but most of the volunteers are still the same and
the Mission, to rescue and place unwanted pigs into new and permanent homes,
it still as strong and necessary as ever.
So, why do people give up their pet potbellied pigs? Your group must get all
the problem pigs and the rejects, right?
Most of the people PPN helps can be divided into three groups:
1. Those who just tire of their pig or don’t want to take responsibility for
· They have made no commitment to their pet; they just want to discard it.
These types of people will abandon, desert or kill the pig if they don’t have
any immediate alternative.
· These people are the most difficult people for pig loving PPN volunteers to
deal with. It seems as if these people have no heart! Their minds are made
up to dispose of the pig and the means does not really matter — they just
want it gone.
· In these cases PPN works to find the pig a safe haven immediately, relying
mostly on foster care program volunteers, or sometimes those new parents who
are waiting for a pig.
· PPN also tries to work with the current owner to solve any pig problems
that may be causing the immediacy of their request and to try and help to
keep the pig in its home until a new home can be found.
· It is really surprising, often frustrating, how arrogant these people can
be. They assume PPN’s job is to find a home for their pig — basically take
on their responsibility. Often they don’t even want to pay for have their pig
vet checked to be sure it meets PPN health requirements!
· In these cases the pet is being abandoned, most often due to no fault of
the poor pet pig. Sometimes people are moving to a home where the pig cannot
go, they are divorcing and have made no plans for their pets or the people
are just tired of providing the care.
· PPN has placed many of these types of pets into new, loving homes and the
pigs and the new piggy parents are happy!
2. Those who were uneducated when they got their pet, they don’t understand
what the pig wants or needs or they are having a problem.
· These people can be the most gratifying to work with. They don’t know much
about potbellied pigs, but are willing to learn and really want to do the
right thing for their pet.
· They are surprised when a pig acts like a pig (rather than a dog, like they
were told at the pet store or by the backyard breeder!)
· They are often feeding the pig dog food; commercial hog food or table
scraps and they wonder why their pig is huge and cranky.
· They are experiencing pig behavior and don’t know how to cope with it.
Their pig has become a burden or unbearable to live with and they don’t know
what to do.
· They care for the pet and think finding it a new home is the only solution.
· Most are thrilled when you can help them learn about the proper care of the
pet and are anxious to do the right thing.
· The people in group 2 are not unloving or uncaring — just uneducated.
· Often people in this group have tried to “do the right thing” by rescuing a
pig and have found themselves in a bind. Most babies that come to PPN are
those of rescue pigs who were rescued pregnant or uneducated people who take
in an unneutered male and unspayed female, then are shocked to find babies in
their barn one morning!
· Most often we are able to keep these pigs in their homes and help to
“solve” the problems through proper education. Sometimes things have become
too strained and the pig must be placed into a new home. Again, the pig is
being placed for adoption due to no fault of its own. Most often the pig is
not defective, it is just misunderstood.
· PPN has helped to educate many pig parents and keep pigs in their homes,
other times we have placed some of these pigs into new and loving homes. We
often take in the babies produced from a lack of education and help them to
find new homes, along with helping to have the male neutered and the female
spayed, whenever possible!
3. Those, who through no fault of their own, cannot keep their pet and want
to be sure the pig goes to a good home .
· These people are just in a bind. They are in some type of personal
situation where they are being forced to give up their pet.
· Situations range from a child whose parent has tired of the pig, a person
whose job has been transferred, someone who is having financial problems or
may be losing their home, they are sick and cannot properly care for the pig,
they have a zoning problem and their town is making them get rid of the pet
and many others.
· These are people who truly love their pet and are devastated at the
prospect of giving it up. They are more than ready to help PPN in finding the
pig a good home. They generally help to pay any vet costs; place ads in the
newspaper help to screen potential pig parents and listen to your advice.
· While the situations are sad, these are the best pig parents to work with!
· Again, there is nothing wrong with these pigs, they are just victims of
circumstance. They are coming from loving homes and need new secure, loving
homes to go to.
Unfortunately, the problem of unwanted pet pigs often seems insurmountable.
Unscrupulous breeders, uncaring owners, closing sanctuaries and other
problems all contribute to the needy pig population. Fortunately for the pet
pigs, people across the country are trying to help solve the problem, often
just one pig at a time. PPN is a group of these types of people; we are pig
lovers who recognize the seriousness of the unwanted pig problem. We have
dedicated our time, efforts and often money to trying to help any and all
pigs in need. We are motivated by a genuine love and respect for the pig and
So, NO there is nothing “wrong” with most of the pigs for adoption in our
program – they are innocent victims. Yes, we do have some special needs pigs
— some are blind, some are elderly, others are overweight and need help with
their diets, some have physical problems and a few may have personality
problems — these are special pigs and need special homes. But each of our
adoptable pigs has something to offer to its new home and each pig deserves a
chance to give and receive love.
Everyone has something to contribute. Please join us in trying to solve the
problem. Working together we can save lives and make a difference — one pig
at a time!