WORTH CO., GA (WALB) - A spike in abandoned and abused pet pigs is putting stress on one Worth County sanctuary.
Keith Jones becomes a very popular guy when he's serving animals at Charlie B's PNut Patch breakfast.
He said he loves sharing moments like these with his pigs, but his passion, of taking in these animals when they are abandoned, hurt, or just become too much for their owners to keep up with is becoming hard to keep up with.
"Sanctuaries are just overloaded," Jones said. "I mean you can see that we're outgrowing this area here. I mean it's every week that we get a request to take in a pig."
Jones said that's because those on social media and breeders are spreading the myth that micro or teacup pigs even exist.
He adds those permanently miniature versions of the animal aren't actually real and, when pigs grow larger than expected, people don't want them any longer or can't take care of them.
"Its hard to keep up with telling the truth, because there are so many out there that are popular and these people are starving their pigs to keep them small," Jones said.
Some have also taken in other pigs, that probably shouldn't be pets.
"This is truffles," Jones explained. "Truffles is a wild pig."
While taken in as a pet from the wild, she has warmed up to her new owner after others couldn't keep her, but Jones said there are some risks associated with making wild breeds pets.
"Tested for Pseudorabies and Brucellosis, which is also something that humans can catch," Jones said. "So, it's not really recommended to take one, without taking it to a vet and having it checked out."
He said the overall problem created by the teacup myth, and other issues, has now become the worst he's ever seen it.
Jones said he's called out breeders and a South Georgia produce company for advertising that they sell micro pigs. Some of them sell for thousands of dollars.