Petsitter Accused Of Abuse After Pet Pig’s Weight Triples

AlainaA Minnesota woman is accusing a co-worker who pet-sat for her potbellied pig of animal abuse. Michelle Schmitz wants to file abuse charges because the pet-sitter allowed the pig to get fat and triple in weight.

Schmitz said her pig, Alaina Templeton, weighed 50 pounds when she left her with the pet-sitter. Schmitz went on medical leave in February to recover from ankle surgeries.

She tried to get her pig back in April, but she said her co-worker would not return her calls. Schmitz didn’t know where she lived and after driving around, she finally was able to find the woman’s farm.

When she finally saw Alaina after nine months, her pig weighed 150 pounds. Her neck had grown around her collar, so she had trouble breathing. Alaina had to endure a 4 1/2 hour surgery to remove her collar.

Officials are investigating the case and if there was any animal abuse. As of yet, no charges have been filed against the co-worker.

Schmitz believes her co-worker let Alaina run around outside where she was able to eat cat food. She added that her co-worker’s cats looked extremely thin when she picked up her pig.

She is extremely distraught over her pet’s weight gain and said she has always kept Alaina on a strict diet to keep her weight around 50 pounds. Schmitz added that her pig is her life.

Source: Winona Daily News

16 Responses to “Petsitter Accused Of Abuse After Pet Pig’s Weight Triples”

  1. Nora and Rufus says:

    Poor Piglet. That collar had to be very painful and it was life threatening by causing breathing difficulities not to mention infection. THAT IS ABUSE. Also, why didn’t the owner know where the Pet Sitter lived if the Pig was her life??????

  2. Lis says:

    Medical leave–we don’t know what kind of condition she was in when she left. Not the best judgment, for sure, but if you’re sick enough, that can happen. And she undoubtedly trusted the co-worker.

  3. Nancy G. says:

    A lot of people think it’s great fun to constantly feed a little pig donuts, pastries, all kinds of crap and watch them scarf them down. What a laugh. And the pounds pile on. No excuse for the pig to be that large, and so neglected the sitter didn’t even know [or care] his collar was embedded in his neck. What kind of condition are her other farm animals [and cats] in?

  4. Poodlluver says:

    I agree this is not right, and the care giver should be responsible for all vet bills. And the collar being left on the neck like that IS really horrible thats definetly animal abuse. I’ve never understood that one at all!

    BUT in defense of ‘petsitters’….. a petsitter is not someone that keeps or boards a pet at their own place. (that would be a care giver or boarding facility) A petsitter comes to your home.
    Stuff like that gives good petsitters a bad name.

  5. Merlin Marshall says:

    There is a lot left out of this story. Did the woman tell the sitter to keep the pig on a strict diet? Did she tell the woman to confine the pig? Did she check out the place the pig would be staying? Why did it take 9 months for the woman to check on the pig since it was “her life”?

    If it was my pet, I’d have asked how it was doing after a couple days and kept asking periodically. Also, unless the woman was confined in the hospital, why was she unable to get a ride out to visit the pig?

    The embedded collar is a bad thing and that is neglect. Still, there is probably some blame on both sides of this story.

  6. Lis says:

    It did not take her nine months to check on the pig. She left the pig with the coworker in February while she was recovering from surgery, and started trying to get her back in April. The coworker refused to return the pig, and it took a total of nine months–the two planned months plus the seven months of the coworker refusing to return the pig as planned–before the owner saw her pet again.

  7. Anonymous says:

    All Lis ever wants to do is aruge with anyone who posts here. What a pain in the A##

  8. 2CatMom says:


    I don’t think Lis is a problem. She’s just stating the facts. If you have a problem with her adding valuable information to the story, that’s really your problem.

    I have a BIG PROBLEM with people who attack other posters when they don’t have the guts to identify themselves. I think they are a pain in the A**.

  9. Kristy says:

    LOL. Amen 2CatMom. Lis only said the exact same thing I was going to say.

  10. straybaby says:

    Lis saved me some typin’!

    Merlin, it may have been hard for the woman to do a home check etc prior. but i’m betting she did tell her how to care for the pig. and COMMON SENSE says you take a freakin’ collar off BEFORE it starts growing into the neck.

    she ptrob trusted her co-worker and even though they were friends. and the co-worker was prob doing her a huge favor.

    “Schmitz went on medical leave in February to recover from ankle surgeries.”

    i’m guessing this is why she didn’t go to visit her pet.

  11. Lynn says:

    Anonymous: Stop being covert and give yourself a name so that when YOU post we can rag on you.

    Lis tells it like she sees it. And if you, “Anonymous,” can’t tell the difference between making a point and arguing, then go somewhere else.

  12. Lynn says:

    Now, about the poor Piglet…..

    I can’t stress this enough: People must make contingency plans for their beloved pets in the event something happens for them.

  13. Catlady says:

    I don’t know much about potbellied pigs, but I thought I heard that they can eventually get to be quite large. Doesn’t say how old this pig was, but maybe the owner had kept the pig unnaturally small by not feeding it enough. Does anyone know anything about the growth of potbellied pigs? I do think that not removing the collar was cruel, though.

  14. June says:

    The abuse (as in neglect) was leaving the collar on until it took surgery to remove it. It is awful to think of that.

  15. Merlin Marshall says:

    OK, the woman went on medical leave (doesn’t say she was hospitalized, just on leave from work) in February and tried to get her pig back in April. Doesn’t say how long she was on leave from work. I have a co-worker who suffered a nasty broken ankle, had to have a couple of surgeries and was back working part time in a month. This is a middle aged, overweight female who never exercises either, so this is not a miraculous recovery.

    The story says she tried to get her pig back in April. It doesn’t say if she inquired after the pig between February and April. Why didn’t she know where the co-worker lived? If I were asking someone to board my cats, who are also “my life”, I would know where they were. ESPECIALLY if it were someone I didn’t know very well, which sounds like the case here. And why would you leave your pet with someone you didn’t know very well? Especially not check up on them?

    The person doing the boarding was wrong not to remove the collar, but I still maintain the owner has some blame in this case as well.

  16. pigglywiggly says:

    THats horrible???THats abuse plus why didnt she know where the pig was??Did they do anything yet about it???

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