Although dogs and cats (and select birds and fish) have historically been the most popular choice of companion animals for humans, a lot of other animals are starting to catch up. For instance, many people may not know that a skunk actually makes a great pet - as long as you remove the stink glands, that is.
Another slightly unconventional choice of pets that I've been seeing more and more over the last few years is the mini pig. While regular farm pigs bred for pork can get as large as 700 pounds, mini pigs are descended from pot-bellied pigs who generally don't grow bigger than around 70-100 pounds. While that still seems a lot bigger than the promise of a "teacup" pig, they are technically miniature when compared to fully-grown members of other pig breeds.
Unfortunately, unscrupulous marketing has led to widespread misinformation. Many pet owners enthusiastically get themselves a miniature pig that they are told will never weigh more than a human baby, only to be shocked when it keeps on growing. Many sellers underfeed their pigs to keep them small and some resort to inbreeding, which can lead to a host of other health problems. Others still will sell baby piglets of other, larger breeds, claiming they're mini pigs. Since pigs can start reproducing at a very young age, looking at "tiny" parents of a prospective mini pig is also misleading - those parents may well still be piglets themselves.
As these pigs grow bigger and bigger, a lot of people can't handle it. They thought they were going to get something that stayed under 20 pounds, only to find that the term "miniature" in pigs isn't quite the same as it is with dogs. A lot of these pigs end up getting abandoned or being given away to animal shelters, all because people couldn't bother to do some research prior to taking responsibility for a life. That's what happened to Piper, a mini pig in Tennessee who was abandoned and left in the cold. Thankfully, she was taken in by a family who had experience with rescuing pigs. They nursed her back to health and, in the process, turned her into an Instagram star!
Recently, a Tennessee family found this adorable, abandoned piglet struggling to survive in the cold.
They had experience with rescuing and raising pigs, so they took her in and named her Piper.
The family actually has several animals they've rescued, including other pigs, a puppy named Pico and a bearded dragon lizard called Tuney. Their adventures are documented on the family's Instagram page.
Since her rescue, Piper has been living the good life. This is her favorite new friend, a puppy who lives next door. They're cuddle buddies!
Here she is hanging out with Tuney.
Piper really loves naps on a nice warm blanket.
She just loves blankets in general!
Y'know, that's actually a great deal.
Here she is enjoying a meal.
Although her diet is usually vegetarian, she apparently has a fondness for chewing on feet.
She's usually very well-behaved though.
Yep, that's one happy piggy!
Via: Little Things