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Brownsburg rescue serves as refuge for unwanted, abandoned potbellied pigs

Oinking Acres Farm & Rescue Sanctuary is not only finding new families for these pet pigs, but also trying to educate the public about farm animal rescue.

BROWNSBURG, Ind. — An animal rescue opened in Brownsburg a few years ago to help the growing number of potbellied pigs ending up in shelters and abandoned by families.

Oinking Acres Farm & Rescue Sanctuary is not only finding new families for these pet pigs, but also trying to educate the public about farm animal rescue.

Olivia Head, the founder and president of Oinking Acres, started fostering potbellied pigs like Poah when she was just 14 years old. She rescued him from the Vanderburgh Humane Society.

Right now, Oinking Acres has 88 pigs on the farm, most of them potbellied pigs.

"Most of them come out of the shelter system," Head said. "They've either been picked up as strays or confiscated from their previous owners or surrendered to animal control for various reasons."

Credit: WTHR

And why potbellied pigs?

"I think a lot of people go out and get these pigs because they've seen one too many YouTube videos or Instagram posts and they see these cute, tiny little piglets. They are exceptionally cute and they do have potential to make great pets, but they're not the best pet for the average household," Head said. "They need lots of space. They need special veterinarian care."

Once these domesticated potbellies live in a home, they can't really be returned to barn life.

Head has their space decorated like a typical home. Blankets, beds, couches, and even "Bonanza" playing on the TV. She says not to underestimate the pig.

"Pigs don't really receive the respect that they deserve," Head said. "People tend to think that they're nasty or gross creatures when in reality, they're exceptionally smart. They're the third-smartest animal in the animal kingdom. They have the ability to outperform a 5-year-old child on a cognitive test. They're highly emotional when they're happy. They wag their tails, just like dogs, and when they're sad or upset, they cry real tears. They're highly trainable, they can be housebroken, crate-trained, harness trained."

RELATED: Teenager's passion for pigs leads to creation of Indiana rescue center

They have a lot of company on the farm.

"We have two cows, one donkey, a miniature horse, eight goats, six rabbits, four cats, one peacock, two p-hens, a Guinea, a pheasant, a turkey," Head said.

That makes Oinking Acres not only a sanctuary for animals, but also a farm for tourism, opened up to groups to tour the farm and learn more about the animals and their needs, and the importance of farm animal rescue.

Head said if you do want a potbellied pig, they hope you will consider adopting from their farm or somewhere else. To fill out a an adoption application and see all of Oinking Acres' available pets, click here.

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