They are too big to be cats, so one could assume two of the world’s ugliest dogs are living at Charlotte’s animal shelter.
But that’s not right, either.
“We have two pigs,” explains Melissa Knicely of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Care & Control Division.
“One, we found wandering around Morris Chapel Road, and the other was surrendered to us. The owner got it at a festival, and was told it was a micro pig and would stay small. But it kept getting bigger and now it’s the size of a large dog.”
Never miss a local story.
And getting bigger, it seems.
“A pig is a pig and it’s only micro tiny when it’s a baby. They all grow up to be pigs,” Knicely says, repeating what her staff told the pig’s former owner.
The pigs, named Mark and Alex by the staff, have been at the shelter for about three weeks and are kept in a barn, away from the larger population of dogs and cats. “Both of them, I found out, are very shy,” Knicely says.
This is not the first time the shelter has housed hogs.
In fact, the agency averages five to 10 pigs a year. They either end up adopted by someone as a pet or are taken in by a rescue agency that finds them a home. Some are found roaming the streets and never claimed by anyone, while others are turned in by owners who have run out of room or patience, she says.
“We also have a goat now and a chicken,” Knicely says. “The chicken was owner surrendered.”
The department’s most famous animal oddity was a monkey named Carter, that was confiscated and ended up being sent to a Texas primate reserve in December 2015. The monkey came to the department’s attention after it escaped from the owner’s car and eluded searchers for a day.
Knicely admits she got attached to Carter.
“I sponsor him,” she says. “I send $10 a month so he can have fruit and they send photos of him every now and then.”
To find out how to adopt one or both of the pigs, Knicely says call 311 and ask a customer service representative about the animals.