Woman charged with animal cruelty after overfeeding pig

DEDHAM, MA– Maybelle the pig is so overweight that when she came into an animal rescue in Boston, she had to be carried in.

Now, her owner is facing animal cruelty charges for overfeeding the pig.

“It’s not healthy for the pig, and as much as being underweight is a form of neglect and abuse, so is being this much overweight,” said Darlene Wood, an officer with the Animal Rescue League.

The pot-bellied pig should weigh around 100 to 110 pounds, but her owner kept feeding her to the point of animal cruelty. Maybelle now weighs almost 200 pounds.

After giving Maybelle an apple for breakfast, Wood tried to get the pig to stand up. But she couldn’t stand. And that’s just one of the thing her weight keeps her from doing, said Anna Chaletzky of the Animal Rescue League.

“She’s so overweight that she can’t see,” Chaletzky said.

Officers took the pig from the residence of Megan Caterino, who told them she was simply holding Maybelle for a friend. But this is the third pig the rescue has removed from Caterino’s house. Now, Caterino will be charged with animal cruelty.

Chaletzky said pigs are very smart animals with distinct personalities. She said like humans, pigs can become both unhealthy and depressed when they are overweight, even losing the will to live.

“Our main concern was making sure that she was going to lose enough weight to get her morale back, really,” she said.

It will take weeks for Maybelle to lose enough weight to even go for walks. Then, animal rescue will find a home for her.