Young Girl Creates Organization to Support Unwanted Pet Pigs

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. suitable / ˈsu tə bəl / (adj) – having the right or acceptable qualities

    A cat is not a suitable pet for anyone with allergies.

  2. misconception / ˌmɪs kənˈsɛp ʃən / (n) – information or data that is not accurate or correct

    It is a common misconception that bulls get angry when they see a red cloth. They actually get irritated by the cloth’s movement.

  3. trick (someone) into (something) / trɪk ˈɪn tʊ / (phrasal) – to cheat someone or make someone do something

    The man tried to trick me into buying a fake painting for $10,000.

  4. leave behind / liv bɪˈhaɪnd / (phrasal) – to forget and not care for someone or something

    When I go on long trips, I ask my neighbor to look after my dog so that my dog won’t feel left behind.

  5. sponsor / ˈspɒn sər / (v) – to give money or support for a specific cause

    The actress sponsored many rescued animals from the forest fires in Australia.


Read the text below.

Alaina Holdread, a nine-year-old girl from Michigan, founded an organization to support abandoned pet pigs.

Holdread wanted to raise awareness about the nature of pigs and help people make informed decisions when choosing pigs as pets. She also wanted to educate people about misleading terms like teacup, micro, nano, and pocket pigs. This led her to creating Pink for Pigs.

Through Pink for Pigs, the third-grader not only accomplishes her goals but also raises funds for pig shelters. She sells jewelry and other handmade merchandise with pig-themed designs through the organization’s Facebook page.

Currently, Pink for Pigs has raised $5,000 for food, medical care, and other needs of pigs.

Holdread’s advocacy began in 2017 when she brought home a potbellied pig. She and her family were told that the pig would remain small, but in two years, it weighed 68 kilos.

The girl soon found out that she was not the only one given bad information about potbellied pigs. Many people believe that potbellied pigs remain teacup-sized their whole lives and are suitable pets for apartment-dwellers, but these are misconceptions. Holdread said that these misconceptions are sometimes spread by breeders trying to trick people into buying pet pigs to earn money. As a result, many pigs are left behind in shelters when they eventually become too big.

Holdread also shows commitment to her advocacy by sponsoring one pig at a rescue facility in her area. Christy Guipe, the facility owner, said that she is grateful for Holdread’s efforts because the rescue center had struggled to receive enough financial support in the past.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think pigs make good pets? Why or why not?
• What do you think people should consider before getting a pet (e.g. cost, space)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you think it is a good idea for kids to raise pets? Why or why not?
• What do you think are the responsibilities of parents when they allow their kids to have a pet? Discuss.