Sandi Trent, manager of the Cowichan & District branch of the SPCA, holds a newly born potbellied pig. (Robert Barron photo)

VIDEO: Cowichan SPCA swarming with pigs

Two dozen pregnant pot bellied pigs expected to give birth soon

The Cowichan & District branch of the SPCA is looking for homes for a sounder of swine that are being housed at its headquarters on Bell McKinnon Road.

The 29 pot-bellied pigs were surrendered to the SPCA on May 8 from a man who was no longer able to care for them.

But their numbers are already expanding as 24 of the pigs arrived pregnant, and some have already given birth at the SPCA.

Branch manager Sandi Trent said a veterinarian checked the animals shortly after they arrived and determined that they are all in good health.

But, she said the problem is that the SPCA’s policy states that any animals going to foster homes must be spayed or neutered first, and that can’t be accomplished while the pigs are pregnant.

Each pig can have anywhere between six and 10 offspring, so Trent said the pig population at the SPCA’s headquarters will get a lot larger before it gets smaller again.

“We have eight weeks of weaning once they are born,” Trent said.

“We also have five (male) boars that are being sent to the SPCA’s Nanaimo branch to avoid the risk of further pregnancies.”

Trent said having that many pigs, with so many of them pregnant, is new to the Cowichan branch of the SPCA so the workers and the volunteers are not sure what to expect in the coming weeks.

She said foster families for the pigs are already coming forward, but none of the mothers or newborns will be ready to go to new homes anytime soon.

“I expect food is going to be a problem, and we’re already making extra trips to Buckerfield’s for supplies,” she said.

“We lost about $2,000 in a break-in last week, and that makes things much more difficult for us.”