Pigs experience some of the most horrific conditions of any farmed animal species in the meat industry. Most mother pigs in the U.S. spend their entire adult lives confined to cramped metal crates. On factory farms, piglets are taken from their mothers at only a few weeks old and raised in filthy conditions. Pigs are fed high quantities and are genetically manipulated to grow rapidly so that they can be slaughtered when they are only six months old.
Potbeliled pigs face different challenges and are one of the most requested animals we are asked to rescue, as there are so many unwanted pets. Cute internet videos of so called “teacup pigs” has resulted in a trend of purchasing pigs from breeders, though many owners soon discover that they are unprepared to care for them. Pigs require a specific diet and are extremely social, thriving in the company of other pigs. When they are no longer wanted, potbelly pigs may face neglect, abandonment, or ending up on someone’s dinner plate.
Betty came from a small petting zoo in California, where piglets are kept until they are too big to have the public interact with, at which point they are sent to slaughter. When she was two days old, Betty’s mother accidentally stepped on her and she was badly injured. She was nursed back to health and eventually found her forever home at Charlie’s Acres. Now, you can almost always find Betty right next to her adopted “sister” Minnie or playing gently with the new, smaller piglets who have recently joined the group. Betty loves attention from her human friends and will across the yard towards you if she thinks she might score some belly rubs.
Petunia is a Gottingen pig, a breed that is most commonly bred for laboratory testing. We do not know exactly what she was used for in this lab, but she arrived covered in scabs and rashes. Her rescue was coordinated by Rescue + Freedom Project. She came to live at Charlie's Acres on her first birthday and touched grass for the very first time that day! Now, she loves being outside and is the last one to go to bed each night, always far out in the field snacking on grass until the last bit of sunlight disappears. Petunia became a quick favorite as she grew to be more confident and outgoing, coming up to visitors and nudging them with her nose, asking for belly scratches. Her skin has improved thanks to regular skin conditioner treatments (and frequent mud baths).
Bella has had a bit of a rough start to life. She was living with a family in a backyard, but had become massively obese from eating cat and dog food, chicken food, and candy. After coming to Charlie’s Acres and eating a strict diet, she has lost a lot of weight and has gained her mobility back.
Nicholas, Victor, & Gilbert
Nicholas, Victor, and Gilbert were saved by a truly incredible kid. When a rancher purchased their mother, he was surprised to find out that she was pregnant. Eleven-year-old vegan Nicholas was able to convince the rancher to let him try and find homes for all her piglets and was successful! We named one of the piglets Nicholas after their amazing rescuer. These three brothers have always been close, snuggling tightly together under straw and blankets every night. Now, they’re making new friends and getting bigger every day! They love meeting visitors and are quick to flop for a belly rub!
- Pigs are one of the smartest domestic animals, matching dogs in their cognitive abilities. Pigs can learn approximately 300 different commands, solve challenging problems, and even use deceptive tactics to trick other pigs!
- Newborn piglets learn to run toward their mothers’ voices, and mother pigs sing to their young while nursing.
- Contrary to popular belief, pigs are very clean animals who are careful not to soil areas where they eat or sleep when given sufficient space. They roll in the mud in order to keep themselves cool and protected from sunburn.
Pigs are amazing animals – affectionate, curious, and smart! Their intelligence, size, and strength can make them challenging to deal with, and their unique needs mean they aren’t the right pet for everyone. However, with the proper environment and care, pigs can be a rewarding addition to your family. Click here for more information about pigs and what they require to keep them happy and healthy!