Pigs are in the business of getting fat, but an animal rescue agency outside Charlotte says it took in a hog this week that is so “huge,” its eyelids can’t open.
The potbellied pig -- named Rosie -- is less than a year old and weighs an estimated 400 pounds, says Jennifer Gordon with Carolina Waterfowl Rescue.
“When I saw her, my mouth hit the floor. It’s so fat it can’t walk,” Gordon told the Charlotte Observer. “And she’s what they call fat blind. Her eyes work fine but she’s so fat, the lids of her eyes can no longer function. They are pushed together.”
The average weight of a pot bellied pig is typically about 150 pounds — by age three, according to the North American Pet Pig Association.
News of the homeless, grotesquely fat Rosie spread quickly among local animal lovers Thursday, after the agency posted on Facebook that it needed donations for her medical bills. Donors quickly stepped up and covered most of the costs, Gordon says.
Rosie is now on a diet, with a goal of losing at least 150 pounds, says Gordon. An exercise regime is included, but it has been tough so far, she said.
“We’ll try to get her up once a day to walk,” says Gordon, “but if she doesn’t want to, we can’t make her. She’s a big pig.”
How a pig got so big so fast isn’t clear, but Gordon says she’s been told a man had Rosie as a pet pig in his garage “man cave,” and was feeding her all manner of junk food.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Care and Control says Rosie was “owner surrendered” on Thursday, from a home in east Charlotte. Animal control officials then transferred the unwanted pig to Gordon’s nonprofit later that same day.
Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is not in the business of rescuing pigs, Gordon says, but decided to take in Rosie after being told she might be euthanized due to her inability to walk.
Rosie is currently staying in a fowl enclosure due to a lack of space, Gordon said. The rescue agency hopes to find another home for the pig, maybe at a farm animal sanctuary, she said.
“If we can’t, we’ll keep her ourselves,” says Gordon. “She is not going to end up on someone’s plate.”