Articles about 'teacup' pigs
1) Bursting the Teacup Pig Bubble and Busting the Crockery Crooks!
Written by me (Susan Spencer) !4th August 2013)
My piglet Flower posing as crockery!
Are you looking for a pet pig that will stay the size of a teacup (or any other crockery that you fancy)? Well, I’m looking for a car that will run on fresh air – and I think that my wish will come true before yours!
The truth is that the photos that we saw on our computer screens of spotted piggies next to teacups were day-old babies, and like all other baby mammals they change dramatically in size and looks by the time that they are adults – even if they are dwarfs.
Adult human dwarfs don’t look like babies! Their bodies are tiny compared to normal human adults, but are huge compared to babies. Their soft round baby faces sprout rough features in adulthood – especially the noses!
And so it is with miniature 'teacup' pigs. They are tiny compared to farm pigs (under knee-height compared to above waist-height) but are huge compared to their babies. They also don’t look like them - their noses sprout too! (Actually some of my pigs’ noses sprout a lot, so maybe I should call them ‘Pinocchio Pigs’!)
Here’s my adult (pinocchio !) Midge (4) who’s tiny for a pig, but not baby-size.
What’s in a name?
“Ah!” you might say, “that’s miniature pigs [or even the dirty word today – potbellied pigs]. You get much smaller pigs than that nowadays. There’s the ‘teacup’ [‘pig’ is often left out as it spoils the image], ‘micro’, ‘nano’, ‘pocket’, ‘Juliana’, and ‘Royal Dandy’.”
“Aha. [sigh]”, I reply, tired of having to give the same explanation to the same misconception many hundreds of times, “you forgot the Pinocchio [hee hee – at last something new to say!]. Actually none of those are breeds. They’re all ‘brand names’ given by their breeders to market their pigs. They’re all mixtures of breeds and are all POTBELLIED PIGS [I enjoy saying that in capitals!] as their tummies get bigger and rounder, the fatter they get, until they touch the ground if their legs are short enough. [If they’re not fat then they don’t have potbellies.] None of them get smaller than the miniature pigs I have on my farm here in South Africa, who are the size of bulldogs.”
And what I say is true. Look it up on the internet. The trouble is that you have to look carefully, as fraud is rife in the crockery business! The british sites have strict advertising regulations, and so are honest and tell you that ‘teacup’ pigs are the size of springer spaniels (Labrador-size) and ‘micro’ pigs the size of Labradors or knee-height. The Kunekune pig sites in New Zealand and England say their pigs are 50cm and below. The American breeder sites, unfortunately, are full of ...crock. Their law obviously doesn’t bother with adverts. They don’t have photos of any adult pigs, only babies, and even have photos of babies as their breeding pigs. Some even guarantee the weight of their fully grown pigs. (I’m sure some humans are sorry that they didn’t come with such guarantees – especially ones so fat that their doors have to be broken down to get them out of their houses! Maybe they could have sued their parents!)
Fraud is rife here in South Africa too. There are Nigerians taking time off from drugs and prostitution to sell tiny pigs that they ‘love dearly’ and that are ‘part of their homes’. In fact they love them so much that they don’t actually part with them – you just part with your money and pay dearly for the experience!
(In nearly twenty years of breeding miniature pigs – nay Pinocchios – I’ve only sold piglets to white people. This is not because I’m racist (…thoughtful pause with the grammar of that…) but because I’ve never had anyone else enquiring about one. SO if a non-white person tries to sell you a dear little pig (in all senses of the word) then beware! [‘Dear’ can mean expensive.]
To add a cultural flavour to the crockery crooks (I’m abbreviating them to CC as I have lots to say about them), I know of an afrikaans man who’s sold many piglets and been too attached to let them go, and a couple, of unknown race and gender, who’ve been selling my piglets at bargain prices! The buyers again receive nothing for their money, except experience.
There are afrikaans and south african english people, and a south african german man, who actually have piglets to sell, but go way beyond the ‘puffing’ that our dear law allows salesmen.(Our law allows dishonesty to a certain degree, so dishonest people used to know and ‘use’ the law: Man to a car salesman: “But before I bought it you said that the car’s never been in an accident!” Salesman to man: “That was just sales puffing!”
Today, of course, nobody bothers with the arm of the law, because it’s broken, (except for timid citizens who are terrified of the police), so those with a drive to be dishonest can now be downright criminal.)
Pumpkin and I share a joke about the size the CC says theirs are!
Here are some colourful claims that the ‘CC super puffers’ make:
One is a scientist who’s found a way of making ‘Tea cup’ pigs stay the size of house cats. You’re not allowed to see the adults when you fetch a baby, as this would upset them! (Perhaps the drugs or genetic manipulation has made them nervous!) I’ve seen photos of starved piglets in his adverts.
One is the only breeder of crockery in the country, but buys and sells other people’s piglets whose parent’s she’s never seen. (They obviously don’t count as breeders!) She’s only had pigs for four years or so, but was ‘the One’ before she even bred her first piglets! She had the nerve to claim this on a T.V programme, and uses this as her trump card to prove that she is the One!
Another ‘One’ is the only ‘true’ breeder of miniature pigs in the country (registered with the State vet) and has fully grown pigs that are 16cm high and has bred smaller ones! (He doesn’t mention it in his advert, but I wonder if he’s also a scientist.) He does warn people to beware of fraudsters! He also guarantees the size that his piglets will get, in writing, and gives ‘Certificates’. A farming magazine had an article about his pigs recently, unwittingly promoting the fraud that they are the size of jack russels when fully grown. There he says that the smallest pig he’s ever bred was 25cm. (Note the past tense, showing the absence of any pig that size there now. I wonder what happened to the 25cm pig and 16cm pigs, then? Did they grow away?) They even printed the breeder’s warning that they can get bigger if you ‘over feed’ them. The ominous implication of this is confirmed by photos of thin pigs.) Like the other ‘One’, he now uses that article as proof that he is the ‘One’.
The condition a miniature pig should be in - no bones showing but not too fat
(There’s no registration body for miniature pigs in South Africa. One crockery crook even advertised ‘pedigreed’ piglets, registered with a made-up body!)
I wrote an article in a farming magazine twelve years ago about miniature and dwarf pigs, and the fraud going on then already, and I’ve never mentioned it to anyone before. Maybe I should have used it to be the ‘One’. And now I’ve just written a series of 6 books about miniature pigs which I want to tell everyone about, so that they can learn all about the smallest pigs you really get in the world – even what they’re like in the wild, and stop believing the crooks’ crock about them. 6 books could make me the ‘One’ too.
The article and the books together could make me the ‘Two’. (At least that would make me unique, as being the ‘One’ in the mini pig world is getting a bit common.)
Just for the record, I make no claim whatsoever of being the only breeder with really small pigs. I’ve sold them for nearly 20 years and so just the law of probabilities begs to point out that there has to be other people who’re breeding with my pigs, or my pigs crossed with others.
Is our law a crock then?
If you’re familiar with our law, as it is ‘on paper’ (not all law is written – customs can become law, and we have principles that can be expanded to fit all circumstance), then you might wonder how these people can get away with obvious fraud. Well they do. (That’s actually hardly a revelation in a country where it’s normal for people to get away with murder.) The same people have been doing the same things, undisturbed, for at least the three years that I’ve watched them.
“Well why haven’t you done something about them?” you might ask. And my answer would be “for the same reason that victims, who paid for piglets and got nothing, have done nothing: our legal system”.
Our law is thus (got to sound a bit hoity- toity here):
If A and B have an agreement that A will pay R4000 for a ‘micro’ pig, plus R3000 for transport in a very special container (no of course I haven’t made this example up –only a crook could dare think stuff like this up!), and B will send the piglet in said special container to A after payment, then that’s a legal contract, even if it’s verbal.
If A pays B but gets nothing in return, then that is breach of contract according to our private law of contracts. He has the legal right to sue B for either a piglet or his money back (actually more than just his money back – back let’s keep it simple), whatever he chooses.
The trouble is that our private law has become exclusive law because it’s unaffordable for the ‘average’ citizen to sue someone. Not only do lawyers charge a fortune per second, but the judges help their colleagues by making it possible to draw out litigation for years.
The average citizen knows this, and fears the private law court almost as much as the police. (At least the private law system can only screw you for every last cent you have….)
What the average citizen doesn’t know is that A actually has another avenue to follow. (No I’m not talking vigilantism here – we’re still talking law!)
If B advertises piglets that he doesn’t have (or that grow bigger than the 16cm fully grown adult size that he guarantees in writing) and takes A’s money under these false pretences, he is committing fraud, which is a crime and punishable by law. In a criminal court A may claim back the money that B took from him. The court can force B to pay the money to A, in addition to any punishment. This will cost A nothing in lawyers’ fees.
“Hooray! One criminal less to take other people’s money, and A gets his or her money back!” we celebrate in our minds.
But there’s a snag…
Our policemen don’t want to be burdened with having to uphold the law as well as do their jobs, so they will just tell A that it is a private law matter and refuse to investigate. No sorry, not refuse to investigate - that is standard procedure for any criminal case opened - I mean refuse to open a case.
If A badgers them into opening a case, after spending a morning arguing with the prosecutor, (no, again not my imagination at work) then they will refuse to investigate, and A will give up trying to inspire or threaten them into action, after financing one of the cell phone networks for a week or two.
There are a few A s, who I know of, who got this far.
A could go further down the prosecuting- the- bastard- for-fraud avenue.
Our law makes provision that if the prosecutor refuses to prosecute (which he or she will, if the police do no investigation), then A can ask the Attorney-general for a nolle prosequi procedure, where A can prosecute B in a criminal court either by himself or herself, or with the help of his or her own lawyer, instead of a state prosecutor. That would pretty much guarantee success, seeing that A has proof of paying B and B will have no proof of delivering a piglet, or A would have proof of the size the piglet was supposed to be as an adult, (because he has a written guarantee from B), and can show the court that the piglet grew to three times that before six months of age.
It’s just a lot of effort for A to go to, and the criminal court can drag the matter out just the same as the civil (private law) courts do.
The sorry fact is that our legal system doesn’t work for the average citizen. The law is there, but it’s too expensive or too much effort to make use of it. Only the elite and the criminals benefit – did I just repeat myself there…?
Our society is being pushed towards vigilantism.
The mighty pen
And so, let’s return to your earlier question to me, “Well why haven’t you done something about them [the CC]?”
You may now understand, after my exposé of our law, why I haven’t rushed into litigation and sued them for loss of business due to their fraud. (Many people have rejected my pigs, who get bulldog size, for ones the size of house cats, despite my protests that no such pigs exist.)
I’ve never bought a piglet from anyone else since I started breeding, least of all from the CC, so I haven’t paid one of them for a pig I never got, or who grew bigger than a guaranteed size. I have advised quite a few people who have done, though, what legal action they can take. I heard that one crook ended up in the criminal court, but I haven’t confirmed it yet.
What I’ve decided to do is to push a pen against the CC, in a step towards a better society! (They say that the pen is mightier than the sword – and I love the image I’ve just conjured up of pushing a pen up these crooks’ noses.)
In an effort to educate the populace about miniature pet pigs, and save further victims falling prey to the CC, I’ve written a series of six books called the ‘Teacup Pig Series’. It’s very beautiful, with lots of big photos and facts, and little talk (which you may find hard to believe after this article – but it’s true).
My 6 e-books about 'teacup' pigs
Do you know about a pig's 'attack button' or 'sleep button'? Or that a male can use chemical warfare like a skunk, if his life is threatened? Or what causes pigs to become abnormally aggressive? Or that babies can make babies at 12 weeks old? Or that pigs don't mark their territory with urine as dogs do? Or....well the books are just full of amazing things about them that you wouldn't have even thought about!
There’s also everything I’ve learnt about them as pets, and in the wild, for nearly twenty years.
(Book 4 has two covers - one's less likely to cause nightmares!)
In book one, ‘Teacup Pigs in the Home and in the Wild’, apart from showing what the nature of these little pigs is in Nature; what they’re like as pets; what they need to be happy; what size the smallest pigs in the world actually are; and how to tell the difference between piglets and adults (no – people really don’t know, otherwise they wouldn’t think that day-old piglets are fully grown crockery pigs), I also explain how to select a good breeder and eliminate fraudsters completely.
Please join me in raising the banner against the cc and ignorance! If you’re not interested in looking at a lot of pig photos and facts, then just pass on my website address to everyone on your e-mail and facebook list, and ask them to do the same. If we can reach everyone who’s considering getting a pig as a pet, then they can read the books and will not fall prey to the CC. They’ll be able to make informed decisions.
My books are available on my website www.tiny-teacup-pigs.com
I’m also going to ‘out’ these people on my website, with names, telephone numbers, their fraudulent claims, banking details (some change telephone numbers and call names, but their banking details stay the same) and proof of their fraud.
It may cause more sparks to fly than the meteorite showers in the northern hemisphere right now!
Susan Spencer,14th August 2013