It’s been a hog wild week at the SPCA Serving Allegany County.
The animal welfare group is accustomed to sheltering abandoned, neglected and abused companion animals like cats and dogs, but when 27 potbelly pigs were surrendered to the agency Sept. 19, there wasn’t a snort of protest. There were a lot of pig puns, however.
Lynda Pruski, executive director of the SPCA Serving Allegany County, said the pigs came from a farm in Allegany County. She said they were voluntarily turned over to the SPCA by their owner and there are no criminal charges involved.
The potbellies include both young pigs and adults, males and females, and all are considered on the smaller side, weighing less than 100 pounds.
“When this all occurred it was a little overwhelming but we are working with it,” Pruski said. “Traditionally, we shelter cats and dogs but we do (shelter) farm animals and other types of animals.
“We have had one or two (potbelly pigs) the past ten years. Maybe we have had four (total) over that period, but never 27 at one time. That’s what just makes it much more challenging.”
The SPCA Facebook page had some fun with puns, posting on Sept. 19 that it was housing nearly 30 Juliana mix potbelly pigs and hoping they don’t break the “piggy bank” because they always want to “pig out.”
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Where are the pigs now?
Pruski said finding housing for the pigs was tricky but a resident in northern Allegany County stepped up with an offer that the SPCA was happy to accept.
“A very kind person is letting us utilize their barn to house the animals, which is a huge help to us,” she said. “We would not have the proper housing at our shelter right now for that many pigs. If it was one or two we probably could.”
Even with the pigs being sheltered off-site, the SPCA has absorbed some expenses.
What do potbelly pigs eat?
“Initially, we did have to hurry up and go buy feeders, water containers, all kinds of supplies because we were not set up for that,” Pruski said. “We are also using the pig pellets. You can buy them at Tractor Supply.”
Pruski said all the pigs have been checked by a veterinarian and the SPCA hopes to have many of the males neutered to make them more likely candidates for adoption in the future.
For now, the SPCA is helping the pigs settle in at their new home while also preparing for some new arrivals.
“Some of the female pigs are pregnant, so we will be having more piglets,” Pruski said.
The average litter size for potbelly pigs is six to eight, but as many as 10 to 12 piglets can be born.
What can you do to help?
The SPCA welcomes financial contributions and donations of pig food. The SPCA shelter is located at 5440 state Route 19 in Belmont.
People interested in a future adoption may call 585-593-2200 or email the agency at SPCAallegany@gmail.com.
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