The ‘Better Piggies Rescue’ is a non-profit pig rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption organization. Danielle, the owner of the impeccably kept facility, compares it to having two full-time jobs – if, at one of those jobs, your boss woke up screaming to be fed at 2am. Luckily, her neighbors in the far north corner of Phoenix, just a stone’s throw from Cave Creek don’t seem to mind. Most of them own livestock themselves and know how it goes.
Danielle manages the 14+ hour days and never ending workload with lots of humor – her rescues sport names like Picasso (a paint can loving Lothario), Busta (as in Rhymes), Milkshake and Beyonce (the resident HBIC) – lots (and lots) of cheerios, and a little help from volunteers around the valley chipping in either physically, or through fundraising efforts. In the future, she hopes to raise enough money to increase the number of pens she has available for rescues, finance much-needed spay/neuter services and bring in a cow to help ‘mow’ the back pasture. In the meantime, she works in conjunction with other Phoenix area rescues and sanctuaries to get piggies off the streets and into loving homes either via foster or adoption. Many of her rescues are abandoned pets left to the elements once their hormones render them unmanageable. Others simply become much bigger than their owners anticipated or run into issues with the other household pets and are surrendered.
In addition to the pigs she rehabs for adoption and foster, Danielle has 6 forever piggies who are always on hand to help with tours. I recently got the chance to meet them and her current group of rescues (including some absolutely adorable piglets). As Danielle showed us around the property we learned a TON about potbellied pigs. If you’re considering adding a potbellied pig to your home I definitely recommend working with a rescue like this one to ensure you’re fully educated and ready to take on the responsibility.
Here Are a Few Things I Learned About Pigs at Better Piggies Rescue
Pigs are about as smart as a five-year-old child. Being that clever makes them incredibly curious and means they can become destructive if they’re bored or understimulated.
NOT SO MINI
Not so mini! Potbelly pigs can continue to grow for the first 5 years of their lives – topping out at close to 200lbs in some cases!
Most potbelly pig adults are the same height and length as a medium size dog, but they’re typically much heavier.
Potbelly pigs can reproduce at as young as 8 weeks! This is why it’s not uncommon to see super tiny or ‘micro pig’ parents when purchasing a pet pig.
THE TAILS HAVE IT
You can tell a potbelly pig from a farm pig by their tails. Farm pigs have a curlicue, while potbelly pigs’ tails are straight. A wagging tail indicates a happy pig!
PIGGIE PLAY DATES
Pigs are social, pack animals with a pecking order. Only pigs can become spoiled and bossy if not properly socialized.
PUBERTY AND THE PIG
At around 6 months, hormones can bring mood swings and bad behavior as pigs go into heat. Spaying or neutering your piggy will return them to their normal, sweet selves.
CHIP CHIP CHEERIO
Pigs are VERY food motivated and will do just about anything for some cheerios! The cereal is the snack of choice for all the piggies here at the rescue.
Bonus Fact: Pigs are actually very clean animals! They cover themselves with mud to protect their skin and cool off because they do not have functional sweat glands.
These piggies need your help! Donate today to help Danielle save more pigs in need: