94°F
weather icon Clear

Obese pig abandoned in cage on Las Vegas street is on the mend

A severely overweight potbellied pig is recovering at the Animal Foundation after being abandoned in a cage outside a Las Vegas home.

The female pig, which rescuers named Cupcake, was found June 2 in a wire dog kennel by a resident on the sidewalk outside his home, near East Hacienda Avenue and South Nellis Boulevard.

The approximately 3-year-old pig was taken to the Animal Foundation, where her weight — 175 pounds, rather than the 140 to 150 pounds that would be normal for a pig of her size — immediately raised concerns. Cupcake is extremely obese and struggles to move, said Tasha Crabtree, a licensed veterinarian technician at the foundation.

She also had overgrown hooves and dirty ears.

Veterinarians sedated Cupcake to trim her hooves, clean her eyes and ears and perform several exams. Since then, the pig has been recovering in a large enclosure where she is fed a balanced diet and regularly monitored. Staff still have concerns about arthritis in Cupcake’s back legs, stemming from the obesity, but expect mobility to increase as she loses weight.

Lone Mountain Animal Hospital veterinarian Taylor Parker, who donated her time to help Cupcake, said she sees many obese pigs in her practice because of improper feeding. Pig owners will sometimes use dog food, which has an overly high protein content and can cause excessive weight gain. Parker also said that it can take months for pigs to lose weight because the animals store fat well.

“Feeding them table scraps, dog food and people food is how you slowly kill your pet pig because they can’t get up, can’t move, get arthritis and they’re miserable,” Taylor said. “Pigs are big, but they’re also supposed to be able to move.”

Crabtree added that many pig owners end up with a much larger pet than expected after being told they were buying or adopting a miniature or “teacup” pig. Crabtree said those pigs are simply babies that will grow to full size. In captivity, pigs average a life expectancy of 15 to 18 years, she said.

“There’s really no such thing as a teacup or mini pig, so if you’re not willing to take on a 90 to 150-pound animal in your house, then you probably shouldn’t get that pig,” Crabtree advised.

As for Cupcake, a partner of the Animal Foundation will pick her up Saturday and provide ongoing medical care during her weight loss journey. Long-term plans for the animal are still being determined, but the hope is that she will be put up for adoption.

The Animal Foundation helps about 25,000 animals per year.

Contact Mathew Miranda at mmiranda@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mathewjmiranda on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Pahrump public pool closed following area storms

The Pahrump Community Swimming Pool at Petrack Park is a popular summertime destination, particularly for the valley’s youngsters and throughout the summer months, it is often swarming with swimmers looking for a way to escape the intense desert heat.

 
Thousands of Nevadans face eviction after federal ban ends this week

A federal protection for tenants who have been unable to pay their rent during the pandemic is expected to expire this week, and thousands of Nevadans are at risk of being evicted from their home.

Poll shows Nevadans support trading caucus for primary

A new poll of Nevada voters released Monday found bipartisan support for getting rid of the caucus system in favor of presidential preference primary elections.

Lake Powell drops to lowest level in reservoir’s history

“This is a benchmark moment,” Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network, said Sunday. “And it’s not going to be the last one this summer.”

 
Buffalo Soldiers Day in Nevada celebrated for 3rd year

Nevada’s third Buffalo Soldiers Day was celebrated Saturday to honor the country’s all-Black military units.

Face mask backers urge Board of Regents to make them mandatory for all

Proponents of face masks on college campuses this fall on Friday urged the Nevada Board of Regents to go beyond a mandate for employees OK’d by the Clark County Commission.

Adam Sullivan confirmed as Nevada State Engineer

After serving as “acting” Nevada state engineer and administrator of the Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) for the past seven months, Adam Sullivan has now been confirmed in those positions, with his official appointment reported in a press release issued Tuesday, July 20.

Pahrump Back to School Fair set for July 31

It is once again that time of year when parents and students must turn their thoughts to the coming school term and begin preparing for another nine months of academic endeavors. With the 2021-2022 school year set to begin on Tuesday, August 10 in Nye County, in an effort to help ensure that area families are ready to send their children back to the classroom, be it virtual or in person, the NyE Communities Coalition is now gearing up for its annual Back to School Fair.