A famous Santa Clarita, Calif.-based animal sanctuary shared on TikTok that it recently took in a pig that was found “abandoned in a field” and is suspected to be the former pet of YouTuber Logan Paul.
The Gentle Barn posted on Jan. 9 that it got a call about a pig being abandoned in a field, next to another pig that had died. The pig, which the Gentle Barn referred to as Pearl, had “tattered ears and a potentially life-threatening infection in her uterus.”
“She’s clearly been through so much trauma,” the Gentle Barn wrote in the caption, “but she’s now safe with us.”
The sanctuary also noted that Pearl was “purchased originally from a breeder by an influencer.” The Gentle Barn did not disclose how it knew this information and did not specifically name Paul as the influencer in question.
Paul bought what he thought was a teacup pig in Sept. 2018 and named the pet Pearl. In February 2020, he tweeted that Pearl was actually not a teacup pig and included a photo of the two of them together.
A year later, in February 2021, Paul announced on his podcast he was moving from Encino, Calif., to Puerto Rico — for tax reasons, he said at the time. As of June 2021, it was confirmed he was living in a $13 million mansion in Puerto Rico.
Paul told the sanctuary that when he moved to Puerto Rico, Pearl was “unable to come” and she was rehomed “at a horse ranch in Santa Clarita.” He added that as far as he was aware, “she lived there fruitfully for 10 months until that homeowner moved.” After that, Pearl was allegedly sent to a farmer across the street “with the promise of care.”
According to Paul’s email, it was the second farmer who had promised to care for Pearl who had allegedly called the sanctuary to pick her up.
It’s unclear why Paul told the sanctuary in the email that he moved to Puerto Rico in April 2020 — his Instagram feed from that time features videos from inside his California home. Accounting for the timeline with Paul moving in February 2021, Pearl would have been at a horse ranch until around December 2021 or January 2022.
“It’s shocking and heartbreaking to hear the state she was found,” Paul continued. “I wanted to reach out personally and say thank you for taking her in.”
As of this reporting, there’s only one post on Paul’s Instagram featuring Pearl — ironically, in a video about how he’s a nice guy — but he did include Pearl in a vlog that got 4.2 million views and another video testing whether picking up girls was more successful using a dog or Pearl.
“People often buy ‘mini pigs’ or ‘teacup pigs’ for clout online,” the Gentle Barn explained on TikTok. “When they inevitably grow very large and have many unexpected needs, they’re sadly discarded.”
It is questionable whether teacup pigs actually exist. The Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS), a national animal welfare organization, argues that the term “teacup” is not recognized by any official breed standard. Typically when someone “breeds” a teacup pig, BFAS argues, it usually means the animals are being underfed.
A lot of the pigs being sold as teacup or mini pigs are potbellied pigs that are domesticated and smaller than the average farm pig. Adult farm pigs grow up to weigh about 1,000 pounds, while potbellied pigs are within the 100-pound to 200-pound range.
“For anyone wondering ‘Where can I get a teacup pig?’ these extremely tiny pet pigs simply don’t exist,” BFAS reports. “The mini pig pets people see online and on TV are really just potbelly piglets who may be as young as a few days old, or who are underfed so that their growth is stunted, or who are sold under false pretenses.”
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If you or someone you know has witnessed animal abuse, call your local animal control agency as soon as possible or dial 9-1-1 if you’re unfamiliar with local organizations. If both options are unresponsive, call PETA’s hotline at 757-622-7382.