Rescue shelter seeing trend in number of people taking in so-called “micro pigs” as pets

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SHAWNEE, Okla. - 1 Day Ranch in Shawnee takes in rescued animals. Right now, they're seeing a trend that's concerning them, and they want the public to know about it.

"2012, 2013, maybe one a month. Right now, I'm getting usually one or two a day, sometimes more than that,” Maeghan Olsen, with 1 Day Ranch, said.

People are buying these so-called 'micro' pigs not realizing what small means in the pig world.

"Anything under 400 pounds is considered a miniature pig," Olsen said.

Which is anything but mini when sizing it up to another domestic pet like a dog or cat. Something some people don't realize when they take them home.

"If a breeder comes to you and tells you they are going to sell you a teacup micro mini pig, that's a potbelly pig. There's a few breeds of potbelly pigs, but at the end of the day, they're potbelly pigs,” Olsen said.

These two-day old piglets are trying to milk from their mom, Priscilla, who was taken in as a stray by Oklahoma City Animal Welfare. They had no idea she was pregnant until 10 piglets were born early this week.

"We have lost five of the 10 because come to find out, these babies were premature and mom wasn't producing enough milk," said Olsen.

She believes Priscilla was a pet by how sweet she is, and now she's homeless, which seems to be a recurring trend.

"They either found out it's illegal to have their pig, or their pig has become aggressive because they didn't spend enough time training it or they don't have time for it or it's expensive or it's become too big," Olsen said.

Olsen is hoping people will become more educated about these before buying from a breeder.

"It makes me really sad because these are such intelligent good pets, but they just, they're being over-bred and sold by people who have no idea what they're doing or they don't care,” Olsen said.

Studies show pigs are as intelligent as chimpanzees, dolphins and even young children.

Oklahoma City Animal Welfare says it is legal to have potbelly pigs in Oklahoma City as long as the owner has an acre of land.

Right now, they have two potbelly pigs at the shelter.

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