Elvis, a 4-year-old potbellied pig, apparently wasn't too popular in his old neighborhood.
So now he's living at the Humane Society's shelter in Murray and, like all the animals there, has one simple desire - a good home.Gene Baierschmidt, the Humane Society's executive director, has pledged to plant a great big goodbye kiss - right on Elvis' snout - if the pig is adopted.
He and other society workers hope some bighearted Salt Lake County resident living in an area that permits such animals will get ready to open up their heart for Elvis.
Baierschmidt said Elvis seems to have the "sweet, friendly personality for which potbellied pigs are famous.
"Our staff has fallen in love with him, and they're willing to do anything to find him a good home," the director said.
Society employees say Elvis was named before coming to live at the shelter Aug. 28. But they aren't sure if he was named for singer Elvis Presley. This particular Elvis can't sing, but he sure can squeal.
Elvis is 175 pounds, domesticated, neutered and house-trained. He's healthy but depressed.
When he first came to the shelter "he was lively and would wag his tail," Baierschmidt said. "But he now just lies around, and you have to spend a lot of time with him to perk him up."
He was brought to the Humane Society by his Utah County owners who decided they wanted to be in compliance with city ordinances on the keeping of such animals.
"We want to make sure that we adopt it to someone who can give it a good home, and we want to ensure that someone doesn't just slaughter the pig for food," Baierschmidt said.
He said the pig's new owner must live in an area that is zoned for agricultural use. There are areas within Salt Lake County that have such zoning. But Elvis wouldn't be permitted in the backyard in most residential areas, Baierschmidt said.
Elvis loves carrots and apples and also thrives on grain-type pellets that he's been devouring at the society's shelter, 4242 S. 300 West.
"He's a bit larger than pot-bellies usually are, and so we've had a little trouble moving him around. He's not really good on a leash. He likes to walk around by himself," Baierschmidt said.
The cost of adopting the bristly, dark-haired Elvis is $40, which won't begin to meet the Humane Society's costs of his care, Baierschmidt said.
The shelter is open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The shelter is closed Sundays.