by Lucy Noland
“Oh, he’s just cute as a button!” Susan Armstrong-Magidson can’t help but gush over the five-year-old, 55-pound pig named Rooty. A) She’s a pet pig person. B) “He’s just so darned cute.” Rooty, as a certain spider named Charlotte might spin in her web, is “some pig!”
He’s one of roundabout 135 pet pigs awaiting their forever families at Ross Mill Farm in the bucolic hills of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Did we mention Rooty loves to go for walks in his harness, is an indoor kind of guy who is potty trained, gets along great with dogs and children of all ages and is looking for a loving home? Look at him in his Halloween costume! He is indeed some pig.
He’s part of the amazing rescue Pig Placement Network. Founded in 1998 by Susan, PPN has rescued and adopted out 1400 pigs. The pot bellied pig craze swept the nation in the 1990’s. As Susan tells it, “They were called the ‘yuppy puppy’ because only people with means and money could afford them back then.”
Thing is, they’re nothing like a puppy. They’re whip-smart and, much like a toddler who’s misbehaving, respond quite well to time-outs. As an advocate for all things porcine, Susan wants people to know, “They’re not for everyone, but for those who they are good for, you fall in love and you never look back. You will always have a pig in your life.”
One of the biggest reasons pet pigs end up abandoned is one very large misconception, “A lot of people are calling them teacup, micro minis or nano pigs. They’ve got a dozen different names for them, but really it’s just branding them as if they were really small animals and they’re not. They’re a good 100 pounds.”
Susan is all about blowing up those myths, sharing how to care, train and really understand pet pigs, and, of course, sharing the glories of adoption. Her PPN spends around $130 per foster pig every single month. With 135 fosters, that’s one big bill for the nonprofit. Volunteers are as crucial as donations. And Susan’s Ross Mill Farm & Piggy Camp helps by boarding pet pigs, selling premium pig food (yes, pigs need to have the right diet too) and piggy accessories such as harnesses and outerwear (pigs are just like us and can’t stand the heat or the cold).ROSS MILL FARM
In the mood for a big ol’ smile? Here’s your invitation to visit Ross Mill Farm with me and my daughter Bay! ⬇️
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