Third Grader Steps Up To Save Unwanted Pet Pigs
When she saw how many people were giving up the animals when they grew too big, she knew she wanted to help.
Alaina Holdread is only nine years old, but she has already been through a lot in life. She was born three and a half months early, and her parents were told she had less than a 2% chance of survival. But she proved she was a fighter, and after spending a few months in a critical care nursery, she was able to come home.
Since then, Alaina has faced some other health issues, including an undiagnosed gluten intolerance that stunted her development when she was a toddler. Once her family figured out the issue, she started gaining weight and continued growing at a normal pace.
Alaina suffered from a variety of health issues when she was younger. Pink for Pigs/Facebook
Through it all, she never gave up – which is why she's now fighting for other living creatures who haven't been given a fair shot.
Alaina started "Pink for Pigs" to help save unwanted pet pigs. One of the third grader's main goals is to educate the public about potbelly pigs and the myth of what are known as "micro" or "mini" pigs.
Alaina got her pet pig Daisy in 2017. By 2019 she was 150 pounds. Pink for Pigs/Facebook
"I have just fallen in love with animals but one of the most I love is pigs - pigs are kind of like my passion," Alaina told FOX2-TV.
Pet sellers often convince people that the cute baby pigs will stay little forever, when in reality they can grow to over 250 pounds. Many times owners will give up their pet pigs once they realize how much it takes to care for them.
This was the case when Alaina got her own pet pig Daisy in 2017. Although she was tiny at first, by age two, Daisy was 150 pounds. Of course, Alaina doesn't love her any less, but she wants pet owners to know what they're getting into.
With Pink for Pigs, Alaina has been selling handmade goods, jewelry and other merchandise to raise money for animal shelters and sanctuaries that rescue unwanted pet pigs. The funds go to purchasing food, straw and vet care for pet pigs that have been abandoned by their owners.
Alaina sells handmade items like jewelry and blankets to raise money for her cause. Pink for Pigs/Facebook
"We need people like [Alaina] to sponsor these pigs, otherwise all the financial responsibility is on us," the sanctuary's owner Christy Guipe told GMA. "Most were surrendered by families who were told they'd make good pets."
"The owners, they cry when they hand over the pig, but then they're gone." - Christy Guipe
Along with her fundraising efforts, Alaina uses the Pink for Pigs Facebook page to share information and educate others on how to best care for their pet pigs. She encourages those interested in getting a pet pig to adopt, not shop, and warns of the dangers of buying from dishonest breeders.
Alaina helps shelters and animal sanctuaries cover the costs of caring for rescued pigs. Pink for Pigs/Facebook
"After bringing Daisy home, we learned more horror stories (on Facebook) that breeders tell [people] they make good apartment pets -- not the case," Alaina's mother Betty said.
Evan at such a young age, Alaina's is dedicated to saving as many pigs as possible. For her, they're more than just animals, they're living beings that have feelings "just like us."