OLLIE the pig is loving life after being rescued from a home – where he was kept in a garage and fed bacon sandwiches.
The porker was bought by a family thinking it was a trendy micro-pig.
But it became too much to handle when he turned out to be a normal breed that kept growing and growing.
He was also fed on bacon butties by his owners, who had no idea he should have been given healthy fruit and vegetables.
RSPCA inspectors were left stunned when they were asked to pick up the seven-month-old pig from an address in Gosport, only to be told what they had been feeding him.
But Ollie is now enjoying a much healthier lifestyle at his new home – the Stubbington Ark in Ranvilles Lane, Stubbington.
Vanessa Eden, fundraising manager at the Ark, said: ‘Unfortunately, the reason Ollie arrived here is all too common. People see their favourite celebrity with a “micro pet” and don’t understand that every animal has different needs.
‘I’m pleased to say that Ollie seems to have suffered no side effects from eating bacon.’
Animal care assistant Kate Jackson has been working with Ollie since his arrival.
She said: ‘He’s getting on really well now.
‘He was a bit nervous to start with and didn’t want to communicate with us at first, but now he seems to have turned over a new leaf.
‘He was kept in a garage with a sofa and they would let him out in the garden as well, but it’s not ideal for a pig and he wasn’t fed the best diet.
‘But pigs will eat pretty much whatever is put in front of them.’
The Ark has three other pigs in its care and it is hoped that Ollie will be able to join them in a shared sty in a couple of weeks.
Miss Jackson added: ‘He will stay with us until we can find him a suitable new home. We’ve got a few sheep and goats at the moment and they’re all available for rehoming.’
Sainsbury’s at Broadcut in Fareham have also been helping Ollie stick to his new diet by donating fresh fruit, bread and greens.
Mrs Eden added: ‘Sainsbury’s customers already donate two trolley loads of pet food to the Ark every week, so when Richard Edwards, the fresh foods manager at the store, agreed to donate some of the supermarket’s overspill of fresh fruit and greens, it was a dream come true.
‘I know how difficult it is in the current financial climate for businesses to donate, as everyone has to make cuts.
‘Sainsbury’s has again come up trumps for the shelter and proved how they value their commitment to animal welfare.’
The Ark needs to raise £2,000 a day to keep going.
For more information about the Ark’s work go to stubbingtonark.org.uk or if you are interested in rehoming any of its hundreds of animals, call (01329) 667541.