May 26, 2016
Alabama Shelter Seeks Home For Wilbur The Dancing Pig
By Stephanie Taylor
The Tuscaloosa News
Tuscaloosa, AL (AP) - Just like his namesake from the classic children’s book Charlotte’s Web, Wilbur is ``some pig.’’
Animal control workers brought the stray pot-bellied pig to Metro Animal Shelter about two months ago. He’s not the first pig to show up at the shelter, but he’s quickly become the most popular.
``He’s so sweet. He just wants to get his belly rubbed,’’ said shelter director Jennifer Earp. ``He nudges his toys around and he loves the water.’’
Wilbur was just 20 pounds at the time he arrived at the shelter and only a few months old.
Now, shelter workers estimate that he’s between 120 and 150 pounds and between four- and six-months old.
Pigs are naturally social, curious, smart and affectionate animals. Pot-bellied pigs can be territorial, and charge at humans or other animals to claim their space. Wilbur, however, runs toward humans because he wants a scratch on the head or to investigate their shoes.
Wilbur, chillin’ in his pool
``He’s not like any other pig we’ve had,’’ Earp said. ``He’s so friendly and has such a great personality.’’
On Thursday afternoon, Wilbur wagged his tail and turned three quick circles when animal medical care technician Valerie Scott asked him to do his ``pig jig.’’
``He really thinks he’s a dog,’’ she said.
Wilbur was picked up in the city limits, and had been neutered before he was lost or abandoned.
Workers first began contacting animal rescue groups to find a home for him, but none of the options have worked out. Rescuers are overburdened this time of year, and many don’t have space or experience to take care of a pig.
``We’ve had a good response, a lot of people are interested in Wilbur,’’ Earp said. ``We want him to go to a farm environment, a place that can really accommodate his growth and will treat him as a pet. He needs more than a fenced-in backyard and someone who has had farm animals before and knows what it takes for their upkeep.’’
In ``Charlotte’s Web,’’ the 1954 book by E.B. White, Wilbur is the runt of his litter, destined for slaughter until he befriends a spider named Charlotte who lives in his enclosure.
She weaves complimentary phrases into her webs, such as ``Terrific’’, ``Radiant’’ and ``Some Pig!’’, which makes Wilbur a town celebrity and spares him from death.
The real Wilbur has gotten plenty of attention this week after Earp posted a photo of him hanging out in a baby pool filled with water. He appeared on several newscasts Thursday, which Earp hopes will help find him the right home.
``Hopefully, people will be able to see video of him and see how much personality he has and realize that he’d make a great pet,’’ she said.
Anyone interested in adopting Wilbur can call the shelter at 205-752-9101.