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Their Home Is Hog Heaven

February 27, 1997

But abandoned pot-bellied pigs need new, swine-suitable accommodations

SOLVANG, California (CNN) - Remember the pot-bellied pig craze a few years ago? The cute little porkers became pets for some trendy folks. Now that they've grown into great big bags of bacon, some have been abandoned and abused. But a California outfit called Lil Orphan Hammies has come to their rescue.

They were showered with all that attention when they were cute," says Sue Parkinson, who runs the non-profit organization with the help of partner Marti Fast. "Their only problem was, they grew up."

Lil Orphan Hammies -- a five-acre sanctuary -- is in Solvang, a tourist town in the Santa Ynez Valley northwest of Los Angeles. It's there that Parkinson feeds dozens of pot-bellied pigs, some of them weighing up to 300 pounds.

The ultimate aim, though, is finding new homes for the flabbed-up pets given the heave-ho by their former owners. But Parkinson says her standards are high and not everyone who wants a pig is considered swine-suitable.

Meantime, Parkinson says she loves the abandoned pigs just the way are, showing her affection with kisses and an occasional tummy rub.

With about 50 pot bellies on the premises, it costs Lil Orphan Hammies about $15,000 a year in upkeep. The money comes from donations but mostly from Parkinson's own pocket.

From Correspondent Anne McDermott

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