A couple in Pennsylvania are willing to part with a handful of $100 bills if anybody finds their missing potbellied pig and brings it back. The pig, which also serves as a therapy animal in addition to its role as a pet, is a Vietnamese potbelly named Charlotte.
Charlotte, who spent time at the local Beaver Elder Care and Rehab Center in Hopewell Township, reportedly cheered up senior citizens. She’s been missing for over a month and was last seen on July 11.
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, local Katie Manni and her fiancé, Edward Perry, told the Associated Press that they got the miniature pig earlier this year in February, when Charlotte was just a six-week old piglet.
Charlotte was able to escape in July when she ran away from a car she was left in with two pugs. Perry had left them there for about 10 minutes to run and get keys from Manni. They think that someone may have opened the door to let them out or that someone opened the door to get a closer look.
Potbellied pigs first began in the U.S. when a few dozen Vietnamese potbellies were imported into the country in 19876. When they were shown at zoos, private breeders took notice and began to breed their potbellies to get smaller offspring. In the decades since, owning one has become much more commonplace.
But, many owners don’t know that the pigs often get a lot bigger than advertised. While they’re generally expected to be the size of a Chihuahua, they can grow to be as much as 500 pounds. When that happens, owners often will get rid of the hogs. Frequently that results in euthanasia for the former pets cast away, according to National Geographic.