The Blackpool nurse and her pet pig

A Blackpool nurse used her time in lockdown in a more unique way than most - by adopting a pet pig.

A&E nurse Jane Sudds had always wanted a pet pig and during the winter lockdown in 2020, she realised that she was at the right stage in life to welcome one into her home.

After years of research, NHS worker Jane adopted Wilbur, who now lives with her in Blackpool and enjoys walks on the famous beach.

32-year-old Jane says that Wilbur has settled in quickly, and loves his outdoor space as well as snuggling in the living room with her, Pomeranian dog Moo, aged 10, and cat Kitty, aged six.

Jane said: “He is a little monkey, he’s really loving and always wants attention, he’s also a proper foodie, strawberries and melon are his favourite.

"His favourite thing to do is to follow me around! I think he thinks he’s smaller than he is, but he’s actually quite a heavy lump, but it’s so lovely.”

Jane approached micropig breeder Kew Little Pigs who told her to take Wilbur home, she had to do a pig keeping course, which taught her all about how to look after him properly.

When he arrived he had to stay at home for 20 days, and Jane had to apply for a walking licence, giving specific routes that she would use when she takes Wilbur for his walks.

She said: “There is quite a lot to it, and you have to be sure you have some outside space because many pigs like to be outside for the majority of the time. Wilbur just wants to be wherever I am, but he also has his ball pit, mud pit and sandpit in his outside pen.

“When I go to work he enjoys it out there, and Kitty goes outside too so I think she pays him a few visits in the day.

“He really likes to go to the beach, though he didn’t like going in the sea at first.

"He just trots up and down and everyone wants to come and pet him and cuddle him.

"A half hour walk will always take double the time because of all the people who want to stop and say hello.”

When preparing to adopt Wilbur, Jane took her new responsibilities very seriously, and at the same time her friend Hannah, who lives nearby, adopted Wilbur’s brother Boris.

This means that when either of them want to go on holiday the other can care for the pigs, after informing the appropriate authorities that their pets will be moved, as they are classed as livestock.

Speaking about why she chose Kew Little Pigs, Jane said: “Kew have been brilliant, I had read horror stories about some places that sell standard piglets as micro pigs and lie about their ages, so I’m so glad I did my research and found Kew.

"Adopting Wilbur has been wonderful, he’s like a dog, but more too!”