Couple saves super-sized swine from slaughterhouse - FOX 13 News

Couple saves super-sized swine from slaughterhouse

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PALMETTO (FOX 13) -

A super-sized sow from Palmetto is gaining quite a reputation for being ornery.  He's also gained a lot of weight since his owner David Gamery took him in as a pet four years ago.

But when Gamery's home was foreclosed on over the weekend, he worried his hefty hog might end up in the slaughterhouse. That is, until his neighbors stepped in to rescue his prized pig.

Arnold is a 1,000 porker from Palmetto that's getting a lot of attention.

"He likes to eat," said his new owner, Mike Armstrong, as Arnold snorted a loud, 'yes' in response.

"How do you know if he's content?" we asked as Arnold munched on bananas. 

"Because he's not charging us," laughed Armstrong.

"Ya' hamming it up, huh?," Armstrong asked the pig – with no pun intended.

Mike and Patty Armstrong took on the super-sized swine on a whim.

"I stopped at a garage sale there on Sunday two weeks ago," explained Mike Armstrong.

He bought a motorcycle from Arnold's owner, David Gamery, but ended up going home with two "hogs."

"He said, ‘I got a pig I'll give you,' and I said, ‘give me?' Yeah, he said, but you can't slaughter it," said Armstrong, who was so touched that Gamery had raised Arnold since he was a mere 50-pound piglet.

He just had to save him.

Arnold is a Yorkshire pig and most don't live past 100 pounds, when they're prime cuts for the butcher. As you might imagine, there were no shortages of offers to slaughter this swine.

"But their money was worth no more than the mud that pig was lying in because he wanted to keep it alive," said Armstrong.

Gamery's house went up for a short sale and the new owners are letting Arnold stay a few days extra, until the Armstrongs can get him moved.

They left a trailer wide open and loaded with goodies.

"We had rigged it up to take and get the pig to come up in here but the pig had better ideas," said Armstrong. "And we left it there actually for two days and he wouldn't eat the cantaloupe, or he just stayed away from it. He knew something was going on, you know."

"They're very smart, yes," he said. "They're probably smarter than us. If this was lined with a bunch of sandwiches and stuff, we'd probably come right up here and eat."

Arnold took off running every time we tried getting closer.

He's had a rough week with so many people stopping by to check him out and to say hello. He's really getting agitated by the whole thing.

"He'll swing his head around at you or something like that," said Armstrong. "Then you know to stay away from him."

Arnold gets a new home on 16 acres and joins the Armstrong's seven rescue dogs.

The next step is getting the portly porker on a diet.

"They eat anything and everything that you put in front of them," laughed Patty Armstrong.

"There's pasta, potatoes, and Arnold," laughed Mike Armstrong. "And dog food."

And they're making the new diet a family affair.

"It's me, Mike and Arnold," said Patty Armstrong. "Well, I think we're just going to have to cut out some of those potatoes and rice and pasta and put him on some good green vegetables."

She believes part of Arnold's irritability is due to heartbreak over losing his prior owner.

"And I think that's part of it," chimed-in her husband. "He probably thinks that he's going to be slaughtered or something, but he doesn't realize he's going to be rescued."

The Armstrongs say Gamery has a standing invitation to stop by their home and visit Arnold any time he likes. Arnold's become somewhat of an overnight sensation.

"You know, I'm getting that vibe from a lot of people," said Patty Armstrong. "Somebody said they thought he could go viral, somebody even suggested painting him on one side for advertisement, you know, and putting a web cam out."

She said that's not going to happen.  They're thrilled they could rescue him and keep him happy.  No reason to get piggish about it.

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