Unfortunately, the prevalence of misinformation about the care of these complex creatures means that most teacup pigs live only about five years, even though "the average life expectancy for a potbellied pig is 12 to 18 years," according to Susko. "We've had some that barely made it past two years of life."
And their popularity doesn't seem to be waning anytime soon. "I have been at the sanctuary since 2002 (going on 13 years) and have worked with well over a thousand pigs during this time," Susko says. "We get an average of 30 requests a week to take in pigs that people have purchased under the assumption that they will be micro or teacup pigs. When the pigs start growing, they call us. We have 120 potbelly pigs here at PIGS and 85 percent of them have been pigs that people bought without doing their research and fell for the teacup pig myth."
Don't be "pignorant" - find more information about "teacup" pigs here. When you see photos or videos tagged "teacup" or "micro" pig, remember that many of these pigs have a hard time finding a forever home after they no longer fit into that teacup. "It is an unethical industry," cautions Reever, "and the victims are the pigs."
Instead of an actual pig, why not gift a pig sponsorship? There are also plenty of opportunities to donate to shelters that provide the proper care for abandoned or surrendered pigs.