One of Front Street Animal Shelter’s newest guests is sweet, housebroken and walks on a leash, but she’s not a dog.
She’s a pot-bellied pig. She arrived at the shelter Friday night and she’s been a good girl so far. Shelter head Gina Knepp said the pig behaves like a dog, including wagging her tail and gently taking treats. Knepp described her as “well-mannered” and said she can make the distinction because she’s had ill-mannered pigs come through before.
“We’ve had domesticated pigs and the kind that have fallen off the truck on Highway 99 on the way to the butcher,” Knepp said. “The last one was a couple hundred pounds and not friendly.”
The pig was found near the intersection of Newcastle Street and Du Bois Avenue. Knepp said she expected the owners to come looking for the pig over the weekend, but they might not have thought to check the local animal shelter, as it’s typically associated with more traditional pets like dogs and cats.
“She’s friendly, social and she seeks out human attention,” Knepp said. Shelter staff set up a wet, muddy area for the pig and “she went to town.”
Pot-bellied pigs are legal pets in the city of Sacramento. They’re licensed like a dog, but Knepp said this pig was not wearing any identification and she isn’t microchipped.
Front Street has seen a wide variety of animals, including goats, lambs, a microchipped tortoise and 60 rabbits rescued out of a backyard breeding operation, Knepp said. But the rescue that takes the cake is the miniature pony who escaped from someone who had rented it for a backyard birthday party. It was still dressed in an outfit for the celebration, she said.
Last month, a livestock rescue group retrieved a group of pigs from a Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta island, sparking a feud between the owner of the pigs and the rescue group.