Over 300 pigs are packed into South Africa's only pig shelter, and shelter staff members are out of options.
Pigs and Paws Animal Shelter was first established in 2004 by Leslie Giles. Her original intention was to help the area's homeless dogs, but she couldn't ignore the countless pigs that were brought to her door. Many of the pigs are victims of abandonment. They're advertised as "teacup pigs" and people buy them hoping for a cute, miniature version of the barnyard animal.
But the problem is, there is no such thing as a teacup pig, and many hopeful pig owners don't realize they've been fooled until it's too late. Their tiny, easy-to-manage piglets grow into full-size adults, and they don't know what to do about it. Some take their unwanted pets and dump them on the side of the road or somewhere in the countryside where they'll either die from exposure or be attacked by wild animals.
The lucky ones end up at Pigs and Paws Animal Shelter. Giles cares for her large population of rescue pigs with the salary she makes working as a casino manager. She has help, but she's out of room. The shelter is at capacity, and there are still pigs out there in need of a safe place to call home. Giles said;
"We cannot take in anymore, we need more pig rescues out there."
Pigs are emotional animals, and they form bonds with their families. Giles explains that depression in pigs is a big problem. They come to her shelter afraid and sad about losing their families. Many won't recover from their emotional distress.
The situation at Pigs and Paws Animal Shelter isn't improving, and it won't get better unless people become more aware about the teacup pig scam. Giles and the rest of her staff encourage everyone interested in owning a pig to do their research before making their purchase. A pet pig is a serious responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly.
What do you think about the teacup pig scam? Let us know in the comments below.
WATCH NOW: Dogs Meet Pig at Austin Valentine's Day Photo Shoot