Published: 06:00, 07 December 2019
An animal charity has warned people to avoid buying micro-pigs after Wilbur was hauled away from his mum and shuffled from home to home.
Anim-Mates, a charity based in Ash near Sevenoaks, rescued the piglet after he was sold by a breeder.
At just five-weeks-old he had been moved to three different homes before the rescuers took him in.
Charity manager Teresa Bloomfield, said: “At his age Wilbur should still be with his mother, getting her love and comfort. Instead, I am attempting to be his surrogate mum.
“Unscrupulous breeders remove puppies, kittens, and even piglets, from their mums far too early.
“The younger, smaller and cuter the animals look, the quicker they can sell them, often for inflated prices.
“We have received a few offers to give him a home but Wilbur is not going anywhere. He will stay at our sanctuary for the rest of his life.
“He has already started to mix with the other animals in our care.”
Attracted by their cuteness, people buy micro-piglets as pets, but get a big surprise as they grow into full sized hogs.
Manager Dennis White said: “A man in Malvern was under the impression he bought a micropig called Grace.
“She now weighs in at 28 stones and chomps her way through £20 worth of food per week.”
Teresa added: “Most homes are not the right place for a pig.
“They need to be able to root, dig, run and play with other pigs to be happy. Sadly, the ‘teacup’ pig myth has led to hundreds of these pets being abandoned or euthanised, once they outgrow their suburban habitats.”
There are more than 50 types of miniature pigs and even the smallest can grow to more than 30kg (five stones) in their first year.
By law all pigs, even pets, have to be registered with the Department for Environment, Food and Agriculture.
More by this authorRachel Dixon