Teacup pigs. For those who don't know what teacup pigs are, they are 'miniature' pigs that supposedly fit inside a teacup and never grow larger than 12 pounds. For those who do know what teacup pigs are, a rise in demand for these pigs led to celebrities like Paris Hilton to purchase one.
However, teacup pigs are a lie. Piglets are sold to unsuspecting buyers, who think they're getting a tiny, cute pet. Prices range from $750 to over $2000 for a pig. In a year, most of these teacup pigs grow over 66 pounds. Many people end up abandoning their pigs, simply unable to keep such large animals.
Today, Paris Hilton's pig is much larger than the advertised 12 pound maximum. Hundreds of scam websites have popped up promoting "purebred, miniature teacup pigs." Don't be fooled.
Not only is it a scam, it's animal abuse to keep a teacup pig. The pigs are kept underfed and malnourished to prevent growth and enable them to remain small. Essentially, they are starving so they can remain cute and tiny. This starvation leads to bone problems along with a plethora of other health issues.The other end of the spectrum lies with people who essentially overfeed their pig. Pigs will grow as large as their environment lets them, and this overfeeding added to the inability of many owners to keep their pigs. Pigs suffer with uneducated owners and uninterested breeders.
Some breeders try to claim the pig's parents are small, so the offspring will be small as well. Unfortunately, this is a scam as well. Pigs can breed as young as three months old, and a piglet's parents may be piglets themselves.
Also, pigs are extremely intelligent animals, and most people cannot keep them suitably entertained. Like any bored, intelligent, animal, pigs can become destructive without anything to keep their attention. These destructive tendencies lead to more pig owners having to give up their pet. Also, outdoor space is a necessity, as many pigs grow larger than their owners in a matter of time. Pigs are highly social animals, so likely they would need a companion as well. In some areas, owning a pet pig is illegal, and many owners are forced to give up their pets.
Despite breeder claims, not all pigs are meant for family life. Not all pigs are easily house trained, some are quite the opposite. Also, pigs are prey animals, and tend to be nervous around strangers as compared to dogs and cats who are usually quite friendly.
So consider these things carefully before deciding to purchase a 'teacup' pig. Preferably, don't purchase a teacup pig.