Templeton the pig- pigs make great pets!
by Jessie Miller
Imagine getting to touch soft, clean grass while running in wide open pastures, feeling freedom, safety, and love after living in muck and squalor most of your life. That is the rags to riches story of many pigs, more commonly potbelly pigs who are rescued from hoarding situations. Pigs, like TEMPLETON, are the lucky ones who get a second chance to know a new way of life that can be quite magical.
Magical because after being rescued from a hoarding situation where he lived with 28 other pigs in a small space, with over 100 dogs, and numerous other goats, bunnies, and chickens. TEMPLETON now lives a pampered life at a farm sanctuary where he gets to be an ambassador to share how pigs make great pets.
Pigs are intelligent creatures who deserve a better life than most people give them. EPIC Outreach is a nonprofit organization in Jacksonville, FL that oversees One EPIC Farm, an education farm sanctuary with a mission to inspire compassion by sharing information to create a kinder world for people, animals, and the environment. EPIC Outreach is on a mission to shift people’s views of pigs as pets and encourage more people to look at adopting pigs to be a part of their family.
Throughout this article the reference of “pigs make great pets” will be referring to potbelly pigs. Potbelly pigs are allowed in most communities to be pets and live in the house like a dog or cat, but it’s recommended that before you decide to add a pig to your family you check local ordinances and HOA’s to ensure a pet pig is allowed.
Why do pigs make great pets?
Pigs are fun, low key, and easy pets! Potbelly pigs make great pets because they are super smart and easily trained. Since TEMPLETON arrived at the sanctuary to live his new life, he has learned his name and will come when called and he even knows how to sit, for a treat of course.
You can house train a pet pig, even teaching them to use a doggie door. Pigs will sleep on furniture and in beds just like a dog.
Sadly, just like dogs and cats baby pigs are super cute and people want them because of their cute attraction. Breeders often market potbelly pigs as “micro-mini” and there is no such thing as a “micro” pig. Most potbelly pigs grow to be 80-150lbs or more. Once a pig begins to grow and develop behavior concerns like digging or biting people want to rehome them. People looking to rehome a potbelly pig often say that their potbelly pig will be happier living on a farm. EPIC Outreach disagrees.
Home for piggy
Not all potbelly pigs need to go to a farm to live their best life. If a pet pig is provided for mentally and physically in a home environment and they have learned to live indoors they will be happiest living with their human companions as part of the family. Pigs are very social and seek companionship whether that be from other pigs or from their human friends. Providing for a pigs needs includes proper food, water, a safe place to sleep, and giving them things to do which may include games that stimulate their mind, like a food puzzle. A pet pig can live happily in a residential home with a fenced yard and things to do that stimulate their incredible intelligence.
Watch this cute video of TEMPLETON bobbing for carrots as he settles into his new sanctuary home: TEMPLETON bobs for carrots
Rescued pig TEMPLETON lives happily with farm friends
While TEMPLETON isn’t a true potbelly pig, he is a mix and for him and the other pigs that live at the EPIC Outreach sanctuary they enjoy life roaming open pastures with other farm animal friends like horses, dogs, donkeys, cats, and chickens. Currently the sanctuary is home to ten pigs who have all been rescued from various situations like hoarding cases and being picked up by animal control as strays.
Rescued pigs like TEMPLETON didn’t grow up in a home, but they are still trainable and enjoy human companionship. They get daily food, water, treats, love, and they all sleep in shelter houses or barns with hay or dog beds. The pigs know their names and come when called. Most will sit for a treat, some will spin, and some are in training to where a harness for future adoptions or visiting schools to further the message that pigs make great pets.
If you are considering a pig for your home, consider adopting a pig like TEMPLETON. You can also reach out to EPIC Outreach to ask questions about the general needs of a pet pig. To learn more about TEMPLETON and the other pigs living in sanctuary visit www.epicoutreach.org or follow EPIC Outreach on Facebook.