Once Shy Potbellied Piggies Kylee and Dahlia Have Come Out of Their Shells and are Ready for Adoption

Pigs are incredibly smart. In fact, they rank right up there with dolphins and elephants for comparable intelligence. According to Mercy for Animals, pigs are actually considered the fifth-most intelligent animal in the world — even smarter than dogs — and are capable of playing video games with more focus and success than chimps!

They are able to recognize themselves in a mirror, and can quickly learn objects that were shown in the reflections. Pigs also have excellent object-location memory, so if they find food in one spot, they’ll remember to look there the next time they’re foraging. Like elephants, they also remember negative and positive experiences, which is important to note if you’re keeping one as a pet.

adoptable potbellied pig
Photo: San Diego Humane Society

Potbellied Pig Craze

Some years back, during the potbellied pig craze, people were buying them left and right from sellers or breeders that frequently downplayed their eventual bulk. That can be a problem when you believe that your pet will never attain the girth commonly associated with swine. And while full-grown potbellied pigs might not reach the gargantuan proportions of their cousins, they will not fit in a teacup, either.

That, and their incredible smarts and tenacious nature, is how they often end up at shelters and sanctuaries, because people aren’t doing their homework.

Pet Detectives

Regardless of the pet you’re considering, it’s important to do as much research on the breed before bringing it home. This kind of background information is vital to successful adoptions. Otherwise, animals are surrendered at a heartbreaking rate. It’s impossible to say for sure, but it may be how two sweet piggly wigglies ended up at the San Diego Humane Society waiting for new homes.

adoptable pig
Photo: San Diego Humane Society

Kylee & Dahlia

When most of us bring home a house pet, we don’t usually think that the animal will one day weigh 125+ pounds, but that’s the reality of being a pet pig parent and pretty much the weights of Kylee and Dahlia, the female resident piggies discussed above. According to the SDHS, Kylee can be a bit shy when meeting new people, but she loves her regular handlers. She may do best as the only pig in the home, but with time you will see what a sweet girl she can be. Besides all that, she loves exploring her surroundings and lolling in mud.

Dahlia, on the other hand, was so shy when she first went to the SDHS that she used to hide behind her doghouse and only come out when no one was in the livestock area. She’s made huge strides since then and can be seen at the front of the kennel space more frequently these days.

Both ladies are spayed, chipped, current on vaccines, and available for adoption today. Kylee’s ID# is 723665 and Dahlia’s is 808294. You can contact the SDHS at escadoptions@sdhumane.org or by calling 619-299-7012. For more details, you can also try info@sdhumane.org.

More About Pigs

Pigs are very clean creatures that make wonderful pets, but they require a lot of consideration. Before adopting, it is important to confirm with your city that your property is properly zoned for housing a pig. Pigs also require a large outdoor space, appropriately fenced and containing access to a predator-proofed indoor shelter area. They also require access to fairly large bodies of water, especially when the weather warms up. They love to lounge and cool off, root around and play in water! Ample fresh drinking water should be provided separately.

Pigs are incredibly social and thrive with other piggy friends. Pigs can bond to other animals and they form very close relationships with humans. As you’d suspect, most pigs are food motivated and enjoy the mental stimulation of positive reinforcement training, just like dogs! If you are interested in adopting, the SDHS adoption counselors would be happy to tell you more.

Potbellied pigs have an average life expectancy of about 15 years. They are generally very healthy animals, but they do face some health issues, especially if they aren’t fed a proper diet or spayed or neutered.

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