Lil Orphan Hammies By Natalie Croak (06/08/13 19:23:19) Related animal: Pig
Today we visited Lil Orphan Hammies, a teacup pig sanctuary in Solvang. I remembered hearing about the teacup pig craze when I was in high school but didn't think that it was a very popular thing. While I was there I learned that breeders will often lie about how big a full sized teacup pig can get. They will say that they will only be 20-30 pounds when in reality they are 100 pounds when full sized. Breeders tell the owners to give them too little food in order to stunt their growth, but once the woman who runs the sanctuary would allow them to eat normally they would jump up in weight. I couldn't believe that breeders were purposely telling people to keep their pets malnourished in order to keep their business going. Since the pigs get much bigger than they are marketed as often people who live in apartments realize that they are unable to care for an animal that is that large. As a result they have to give up their pigs to the sanctuary.
I really admired how the woman who ran the sanctuary donated so much of her time and money to helping the pigs. Along with taking care of the pigs she also works on online campaigns to find breeders falsely advertising about the pigs and gets them shut down.
While we were at the sanctuary we wandered around the pen area interacting with the pigs. My favorite was a buck-toothed pig named Princess who let me feed her animal crackers and scratch her belly. It was also really interesting to see how big Valentine was, the sanctuary's only full-sized pig. I've been around pigs before because my cousins were in FFA but Valentine was massive. Despite this though he definitely was a gentle giant and appreciated kisses.