New Yorkers come in all shapes, sizes and hooves.
A trio of Manhattanites have bonded over their ownership of some of the most unique pets in the city: pigs.
Queelin, a 70-pound porker, and Giblet, a three-year-old spotted swine, and are among the biggest names calling the star-studded East Village home.
“We’ve been stopped by a few celebrities. Everyone stops you, everyone is curious,” said Nick, who owns Giblet and has shared pictures of his three-year-old pet pig hamming it up with the likes of Hilary Duff and Alan Cumming.
“I’m actually an introvert,” he laughed. “So I can get kind of stressed.”
Queelin, meanwhile, can usually be spotted in Stuyvesant Park, where her owner, Ann Jenkins, takes her for a walk.
“The people in the park like her because she eats a lot of the weeds and does a bit of cleaning up,” Jenkins, 58, joked.
Jenkins and Nick met through a mutual friend trying to bring together a rare breed of New Yorkers: pig owners. They’ve since become acquainted with a third pig owner in the area and have tried holding pig play dates.
But their pets couldn’t care less.
“They’re one focus is eating,” Nick said. “Pigs are very disinterested in each other.”
The hefty hogs are equally nonplussed by their local fame, including Giblet, who has amassed more than 7,000 followers on Instagram.
“We get stopped on every single walk and all [Giblet] cares about is me — and finding whatever garbage he can find,” Nick added.
City law prohibits pigs from being kept as pets in the Big Apple, but that hasn’t stopped a small network of New Yorkers.
Jenkins has heard of pet pigs across the city, like Franklin, the adored mascot of a Williamsburg hardware store.
In a high-profile dispute in 2017, the de Blasio administration tried to seize Wilbur, a pet swine, from his owners on Staten Island — only to back off after support came via an online #savewilbur campaign.
State Sen. Tony Avella introduced legislation back in 2013 legalize pet pigs weighing under 200 pounds. But Jenkins didn’t seem hopeful that relief would be coming any time soon and stressed that owning a pig is a lot of work.
“They require a lot of attention and stimulation and don’t like to be left alone all day,” she said. “I’d prefer if they were legal but it’s not something that’s right for everyone.”
Nick agreed, though, the affection from Giblet is unrivaled.
“They’re extremely affectionate and loving just like dogs,” Nick said. “He was sleeping in my bed since I’ve gotten him and now he’s over 100 pounds and still climbing into bed.”
Jenkins said she adopted Queelin when she was a piglet as a request of her daughter, who had become obsessed with the creatures after performing as Wilbur in a play of “Charlotte’s Web” when she was 8 years old.
Jenkins created a list of requirements her daughter would have to complete before she would be cowed into adopting a pet pig — requirements like researching responsibilities of ownership and speaking with experts on the subject.
“It took her about five years, but I eventually ran out of ways to say, ‘No,’” Jenkins said.
Giblet has proven especially photogenic and has been the subject of several photo shoots, including one with comedian Chloe Fineman of Saturday Night Live.
Though Nick doesn’t see Hollywood in Giblet’s future.
“It is so difficult to haul a pig’s ass to a photoshoot,” he said.
Source: New York Post
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