Ellie’s Furcast: Alaska potbelly pig rescue

Ellie Baty visits both locations of the Alaska Potbelly Pig Rescue.
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 6:27 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - In 2007, Sheila Pontier got her first pig and she never looked back.

Now, Pointer runs a pig rescue, working tirelessly to give the pigs she rescues a better life and find them forever families.

“Pigs are something special and once you have a pig you don’t want anything else,” said Pontier, the Executive Director of Alaska Potbelly Pig Rescue.

What started as a rescue on her personal property in Wasilla has now greatly expanded. She now has two locations, her house and land in Wasilla, and a farm that sits on 55 acres of land in Big Lake. Pontier wakes up every morning at 4 a.m. and drives out to the Big Lake location where she cleans, feeds, waters, and makes sure all her pigs are happy. Then she drives back to her Wasilla location to start the process all over. While it seems like she’s Superwoman, Pontier says she’s always in need of more help.

“It’s so important to have volunteers out. If it’s not to clean, it’s just to sit and rub them, give them a belly rub,” Pontier said.

While these farms are pig heaven, Pontier is always on the lookout for adopters.

“We absolutely do adopt them out, there’s an application and a home check required. I ask a lot of questions and I’m not afraid to tell you no because the last thing I want is for them to come back,” Pontier said. “The whole family has to be on board. If you have dogs, pigs and dogs don’t always get along.”

It’s easy to look at a tiny piglet and want to wrap them up in a blanket and take them home, it’s important to remember that these animals do not stay small.

“If you’re worried about size, if you’re worried about them ruining your house or your lawn, it’s not the right animal for you. You need to do a ton of research,” Pontier said. “They’re incredibly smart, they’re like as smart as a four or five-year-old and sometimes I swear even smarter.”

And while we’ve all seen the ads for little teacup pigs, Pontier says they never stay that size.

“There’s no such thing as a micro pig, a nano pig, or a pocket pig, these are all marketing gimmicks,” Pontier said. “What you see is a baby pig that is maybe two or three days old, maybe a week or two at the most.”

As for volunteers, Pontier says that anyone interested should text her directly at 907-232-2880. Additionally, if you have any spare blankets or big bowls lying around, Pontier says they are always in need.

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