Pigs that were living in cramped flat now enjoying new country home

Two homeless pigs have found a new place to sty, with a little help from the RSPCA.

The two male Kunekunes were taken into the charity’s care when their old home ran out of space.

Their owners bought the pair thinking they were miniatures, but found them too much to handle as they grew in size.

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While Kunekunes are the smallest domesticated breed of pig in the world, people can underestimate how large they can grow.

When the family were moved into a flat in Gateshead, they contacted the charity, which launched a search to find the duo a new home suited to their needs.

Now renamed Smokey and Haggis, they are in the capable hands of Clare Dewhurst, who has plenty of experience of looking after sheep and livestock at her home in County Durham.

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Clare took the pair on over the summer and they have proved to be friendly and sociable with her family and are enjoying the outdoor life in a large paddock and pig ark, a special outdoor shelter.

The pair are believed to be brothers, which is why they were rehomed together.

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The pair were rehoused when their owners moved to a smaller home

RSPCA Chief Inspector Lindsey Avery said: “When Smokey and Haggis’ owners were rehoused to a flat there wasn’t enough room for them and they were being kept in the kitchen, which was obviously not suitable. Their owners did the right thing by willingly signing them into our care.

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“We had quite a bit of interest in taking the pair on as they are so friendly and clever - but they have very specific needs and Clare was the first to meet the criteria of what we were looking for in an owner.

“Clare has a lovely paddock with a big tree for shelter. She’s got an agricultural background and knows what they need. There is a pig ark so they have outside shelter, as well as somewhere to sleep at night in a side stable.

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The pair in their new accommodation
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“It has been a great outcome for this rehoming as we know it is a big commitment to keep pigs like these. They can live a long time and people sometimes don’t take into account that they are not going to stay small forever.

“Now Smokey and Haggis have got lots of land and an owner who has researched the breed. She is really committed to providing them with a good home.”

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Clare added: “We’re a farming family and we have had pet sheep and horses, but we’ve not had pigs before.

"We planned to get some for our daughter as she grows up and she adores both of them. They have settled in so well.”

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Plenty of room to roam

This month the RSPCA has launched its rehoming drive, Adoptober, to raise awareness of animals in the charity’s care who are desperately in need of a forever home.

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The latest figures show rehoming has dropped 8% while the intake of animals is up 8.4% year-on-year.

Could you offer a rescue pet a loving new home? Visit the Find A Pet section of the RSPCA to see all of the animals currently in the charity’s care.

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Kunekunes pigs are the smallest domesticated breed of pig in the world
Smokey and Haggis are believed to be brothers