This week saw the arrival of Francesca, a Vietnamese potbellied pig, at Kildare Animal Foundation.
Michael and I made the trip to Dublin on Thursday to pick her up after her owners had decided they could no longer care for her and made the decision to surrender her to the shelter. This was a hard decision for them but the right one for this adorable pig.
Francesca is eight months old and in great condition. She’s a very friendly pig who loves attention from people and gets on great with dogs. Her favourite thing to do is play football; I bet she could show our Irish team a thing or two after last week’s game. The previous owners really did do a great job with her, but it does not always turn out that way.
Pigs are very sociable creatures and need lots of interaction on a daily basis. If they don’t get this they can become bored and develop behavioural issues which can lead to all sorts of problems from destruction to aggression. Potbellied pigs also need to be fed the correct diet so that they don’t become obese which can lead to lots of health problems throughout their lives.
Potbellied pigs are very intelligent. This is usually a positive trait, and in fact potbellied pigs are quite trainable, much the same as a dog (i.e. can be house trained, leash trained, and will learn a few tricks). However, their intelligence can make them a bit of a handful, too. They are curious and playful, but also head-strong and sensitive. They can live for 12 – 18 years with many reaching over 20 years. If you are considering having a pig has a pet please remembered to do as much research as possible before adopting one and it must be a family decision. You must have plenty of time, patience and room for a pig to live happily among your family.
Francesca will live at the shelter for a few weeks before we start looking for the right forever home for her.
- Dan Donoher of Kildare Animal Foundation writes the weekly ‘Pet Rescue’ column in the Leinster Leader