Young-Williams Animal Center sees influx of pot bellied pigs

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Some unlikely guests are residing at Young-Williams Animal Center. Three pot bellied pigs are calling the shelter their temporary home. 

Staff say pig intake has tripled in the recent months. They have tried placing them up for adoption and searching for rescues, but they have run out of options. 

"We love them here, but we are not set up for this," said Corey de Rohan, with Young Williams Animal Shelter. "It's actually taking away from our space for dogs. We are always relatively full on dogs so it's hard for us to give up space."

Throughout the last couple of weeks, animal control has picked each pig up as a stray.

"We've only had one pig reclaimed since I've been here in the beginning of November and that's sad. Because I know that a lot of these pigs are loved by someone," said de Rohan. "We have exhausted all of our resources in the area for re-homing and and rescues for pigs. So we're trying really hard to keep up."

One of the reasons for more pigs is that people are likely underestimating their full growth. 

"We have seen a full range of sizes. We've seen little piglets that were out in the middle of the road and almost caused a car accident, we've seen maybe 200 pound pigs, it's hard to get them on a scale, because they're usually not leash trained."

They may be friendly pets, but they do require some maintenance and a lot of food. Young Williams is hoping someone is willing to take on the responsibility of owning a pig, if allowed. 

"To own a pig in the city you have to have a permit. And if you are interested you need to contact city animal control. We like people to really consider the lifespan of an animal if they're looking to adopt."

Young Williams Animal Center says all the pigs are fixed, microchipped and current on their vaccines. 

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