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Pot-Bellied Pig Owners Getting Buyer's Remorse, MSPCA Says

METHUEN (CBS) -- The MSPCA is warning those who purchase pot-bellied pigs that those cute little piggies might not be the tiny, low-maintenance pets they think they'll be.

At their Nevins Farm facility in Methuen, the group gets a lot of animals people don't want to--or can't--take care of anymore.

Lately, they've been seeing what Barn Manager Gia Barrs calls "A phenomenal influx of pot-bellied pigs."

"I'm not sure where this fad started, honestly," she told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens. "But over the last few years, people have been led to believe, mainly on social media, that pot-bellied pigs or micro-pigs or teacup pigs, or whatever people are calling them, make really great house pets, and that they stay really small."

mspca nevins farm pot bellied pig gia barr
Gia Barr, Barn Manager at MSPCA Nevins Farm, with a pot-bellied pig. (WBZ-TV)

But that's not always the case. Barrs says people don't realize there are different breeds of pot-bellied pigs, and you really need to do your research before you buy one.

"In general, you don't really know what you're going to get, and they can get up to 200 pounds," she said.

Barrs also warned that some people are breeding pot-bellied pigs to farm pigs.

"Then these cute little pigs go home, and can get up to 600 or 700 pounds," she said.

She has advice for someone considering getting one--mainly, adopt, don't shop.

"Don't buy a pig from a breeder unless you have done your research, they allow you into the home, they give you references, and they give you their veterinarian's name," Barrs said.

Or, you could just adopt one from Nevins Farm--they've got quite a few.

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