You’ve seen them all over Hollywood — mini pet pigs. Paris Hilton, George Clooney and Jessica Simpson have all jumped on the bandwagon. But, did you ever think that the trend would reach State College? Well, it has. Penn State students Dave Homanko, Nick Hadulias and Robert Botto decided to steer clear of the Walmart fish and become proud owners of a pig they like to call Oscar.
It all started back in October on the morning of the THON 5K. Hadulias and Botto ran in the race and saw many people running with their dogs. It was at this moment that they decided they were going to get a pet, but not just any pet — a mini potbelly pig.
“They made a PowerPoint presentation to convince me on the idea,” says Homanko, a senior accounting major from Hazelton, Pa. “Then we went and got the pig on Halloween.”
Not your typical college pet, pigs are not something you can get for a few bucks, but they are a lot less than the amount you would spend on a pure-bred dog.
“It cost $150, split between all three roommates,” Homanko says. “We got him from a breeder outside Williamsport.”
Perks of a pig
Taking care of a pig is fairly simple: Hide the salt.
“We feed him pig feed, fruits, vegetables and then cereal for treats. He can’t eat chocolate or salt though,” Homanko says. “Salt can give him a heart attack. We feed him three times a day, take him on walks and have a few toys for him. It’s definitely neat having a pig as a pet because it’s not common and he’s very low maintenance and easy to take care of.”
Just like any other pet, Oscar has a favorite set of activities. Homanko says he likes “taking walks, rooting with his nose, and he absolutely loves to cuddle with people.”
He may be only six months old, but Oscar has a mind of his own.
“He’s very, very smart,” Homanko says. “He figures out ways to break out of his gate all of the time, and he can surprisingly jump a decent height.” Oscar also likes to show off with some spins when he is about to get a treat.
If you just can’t get enough of Oscar in these adorable pictures, watch out for him strolling around downtown State College. Homanko says that when they take him for walks, “it’s impossible to go 50 feet without getting stopped by someone.” There’s a pretty good chance that you might run into this little pig living the sweet life, and it might inspire you to add a member to your Penn State family.
Photos by Sam Florio