By TIM PRATT
The Capitol of Annapolis
DAVIDSONVILLE, Md. (AP) — Feasting on a buffet of fruit, vegetables and leftovers at their new home in Davidsonville, Stimpson and Ren snorted contentedly.
The pair of pot-bellied pigs will eat just about anything, warm or cold, said Martin Hoy, who owns the farm. They especially love spaghetti.
“You actually have to watch how much you feed them because, if you don’t, they won’t stop eating,” Hoy said.
Stimpson and Ren — whose quirky names hearken to the 1990s Nickelodeon cartoon “The Ren & Stimpy Show” — are eating much better these days than they were in September, when they were forced to fend for themselves near the Baltimore Washington Parkway in Linthicum.
The county’s Office of Animal Control believes a previous owner abandoned the pigs in late August or early September. The animals were spotted numerous times in a business park on Hammonds Ferry Road, but eluded Animal Control and Department of Natural Resources officers for weeks. One pig was finally caught Sept. 22 and the other was caught Sept. 28.
After the animals were brought to the county shelter in Millersville, employees named them Miss Piggy and Kermit and worked with New Jersey-based Pig Placement Network to find new owners.
Ultimately, Dave Blackburn and Debra Cory, a couple who lives on the farm with Hoy, adopted the pigs. Blackburn works in the business park and often saw the pigs on the property bordering the parkway.
“They needed a good home,” Cory said.
The pigs’ new owners didn’t have to meet any licensing requirements with the county, though an Animal Control officer did perform an inspection of the area where the pigs would be kept, Animal Control Administrator Robin Small said. They also researched how to take care of the pigs and what to feed them.
“Animal Control is happy to have found both pigs a home, especially one where they could remain together,” Small said. “After being reunited here at the shelter, it was clear to all the staff that remaining together was the best possible outcome for this pair of pigs.”
The pigs’ new owners renamed the animals Stimpson and Ren. They stayed in a barn on the property for the first month, but now spend much of their time in a roughly 16-foot by 20-foot pig pen Hoy constructed outside. He also has put up a temporary fence around a larger pen, in which the animals have a mud hole to enjoy.
Hoy hopes to construct permanent fencing around the mud hole in the near future.
It took the pigs a while to warm up to Hoy, Cory and Blackburn, but now seem relatively at ease.
Stimpson allows people to pet him, while Ren is still “a little more skittish,” Hoy said.
“They’re great when we bring nephews and grandsons out,” Hoy said.
The animals eat pig feed, but also dine on apples, bananas, corn and other foods.
“It’s a great way to clean out your refrigerator,” Hoy said.
The pigs look like they’ve picked up weight since living in Davidsonville, though Hoy hasn’t put them on a scale. When the pigs were on the loose, Animal Control officers were worried because they appeared to be losing weight.
The pigs were first reported to Animal Control by Linthicum resident Richard Stack Sept. 2. He spotted them while checking on construction of the Hammonds Ferry Road bridge over the parkway.
Animal Control officer Glenn Johnson and Department of Natural Resources biologist Jim Bennett searched for the pigs over the subsequent weeks and had several sightings, but were unable to capture either of them until Sept. 22.
That day, the men set up a net near a small patch of woods at Hammonds Ferry Road and Baltimore Washington Parkway and herded the pigs toward it. One got its feet tangled in the net and was captured by Johnson and Bennett.
Days later, Bennett hit the other pig with a tranquilizer dart.
Blackburn and Cory adopted the pigs less than two weeks later.
Information from: The Capital of Annapolis, Md., http://www.hometownannapolis.com/
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)