Valentine’s Day is in a couple days and we’re all thinking about the people and pets we love. But this pet and owner’s relationship is unusual because of how they met and the surprising joy that came of it.
To be clear, this is not a post about all the ins-and-outs with having a pet pig. But sometimes just one anecdotal story from a friend inspires you to know more and consider something less conventional. Here we answer the Who, What, Where and Why’s of Darci and Quincy’s experience. Hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll feel like Darci and Quincy inspire you to accept love wherever you find it.
Who is Darci?
Darci Willemssen Adams is the South Dakota State Director for the Humane Society of the United States and also happens to be a long-time family friend. As long as I’ve known her, she has been a leading animal advocacy educator and lobbyist, and has opened her home to countless rescue animals. So when the Humane Society of the Black Hills proposed Darci take in an unwanted 6-month-old rescue pig, previously living in a residential home, it was no surprise she did some research and accepted.
Why Would You Want a Pig?
Quincy is now a 12-month-old Juliana Pig and very much a part of their family.
Paraphrasing Darci, Quincy is a combination of a cat, dog and toddler. Like a cat, Quincy is house broken, independent and very clean. He has course hair but doesn’t shed. If bored or unsupervised, he can throw tantrums and get into mischief like any toddler. But like our canine friends, he has a sweet and funny personality, is smart and knows several simple commands.
Darci does warn, however:
Unlike dogs that often show love and trust immediately, pigs need time to bond and are regularly challenging their place in the hierarchy. Since Quincy spent several months in a different home, we knew we needed to give him plenty of time and used advice and routine from his previous owner to help adjust.
That said, Quincy and I bonded more quickly establishing our daily routine and I worked hard to learn what all of his sounds mean.
Am I Allowed To Have One?
The City of Sioux Falls does allow people to have a pot-bellied pig (includes Juliana and KuneKune) as a pet without weight restrictions. The City Animal Control has been very receptive to these new animals and report only minimal issues.
Admittedly, finding care for these pets can be tricky- especially because they aren’t the conventional pet animal. Still, Darci’s husband Roy bonded with him more in recent months when Darci travels for work. They have their routine and Roy is understanding his grunts.
Because my dogs are dysfunctional I have one friend, Lori, who is a saint and also willing to stay with my blind, deaf and feral dogs. Lori has stayed with Quincy once. They tolerated each other. Quincy tested her limits the entire week but she stuck to the routine, Lori maintained her sense of humor and she’s agreed to stay with them again in June so I’m hoping she will continue to work through our pet pig’s toddler tantrums.
What Do You Feed Him?
Many breeds like the Julianna and KuneKune eat kitchen scraps, pig feed and forage for grass and hay. In the warmer months, Quincy grazes on the lawn and brush behind their home. Now in frigid February, Darcy feeds all leftovers to him and supplements his diet with twice daily feed pellets.
Where Can I Find a Pig of My Own?
A state directory of pig rescues and sanctuaries can help you find a location near you and provide support and education for you pig as well.
Happy Pig Haven, located north of Sioux Falls in Baltic, SD, found adoptive homes for 10 rescue pigs in 2017. Of note, their pigs are not for breeding nor eating. Their Craig’s Listing states the following:
Are you looking for a potbelly pig? Why look to a breeder when you can rescue one? Happy Pig Haven is a potbelly pig rescue just north of Sioux Falls, SD. We have pigs of all ages from 9 months to 7 years to choose from. All of our pigs are very special to us and are only up for adoption as a new family member.
What Can I do to help?
If you’re unable to help rescue an animal like Quincy, but want a fun way to help, consider checking out Darci’s Fetch-It-Upcycled page. Inspired by two of her adopted B-Squad Rez Dog Rescues, Darci started this hobby-business.
Fetch-It-Upcycled features thrifty and chic designs handmade from authentic, pre-owned & salvaged items. What others may consider junk we repurpose and upcycle creating totes, dog collars, jewelry, décor and one-of-a-kind accessories. We also offer creative services to upcycle your own luxury handbag into unique décor and accessories. This hobby-business allows her to donate proceeds to B-Squad Dog Rescue- A Rez Dog Rescue on South Dakota’s Indiginous Reservations.
Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day week.