Pet pig gains millions of TikTok views

University of Illinois senior, Jamie Perakis, hugs her pet pig for a photo. Perakis has gained millions of TikTok view with her unique pets.

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Perakis

University of Illinois senior, Jamie Perakis, hugs her pet pig for a photo. Perakis has gained millions of TikTok view with her unique pets.

By Morgan Myles, contributing writer

University of Illinois senior, Jamie Perakis, would come in from walking her dog Max, feed her two snakes, Casper and Tinker Bell, and then hunt on Craigslist for her future pet. After her search for a dog turned into looking at pigs, the last step was for her to get her boyfriend, Carlos Sandy, on board.

Sandy believed that the house was just too full to add another member. However, one day over Christmas break, when her boyfriend went to a football away game and after a little encouragement from her brother, Perakis jumped on the opportunity to add their pig, Hamilton, to their family.

“I walked into my house when I got back and was like, I know this isn’t a pig in my living room,” Sandy said.

Perakis made sure to do the extensive research before bringing the pig home to her already hesitant boyfriend because she wanted to be sure that she knew the care and potential cons beforehand.

“Of course, at first I was nervous from buying the pig off Craigslist because there are a lot of scams of people saying they are selling a mini pig and then it ends up being a 300- 600 pound farm pig,” Perakis said. “I looked into it and saw there were traits to look for like the ears sticking up is a big one.”

Sandy adjusted to the new mini pig quickly and both him and Perakis started to enjoy their nicknamed pig, Hammy, around the house. With them being at home more due to online school online and limited social gatherings, having the pig around has been comforting.

“I would recommend pigs as a support animal because they are easy going and pretty easy to train,” Perakis said. “Also, people don’t think this, but pigs are very cuddly animals. Hammy loves to lay up under a blanket and be with me.”

When Perakis is not cuddling with her pig, she keeps all the animals in one designated room with each animal sectioned off. To her surprise, her dog and pig get along well. So, when she is home, they can roam the house together.

“I was scared because a dog is obviously a predator and a pig is like a prey animal,” Perakis said. “So, I was like okay my dog might rip him half. As soon as I introduced them though, I think my dog instantly just considered him as another dog and with that they get along really well.”

Perakis’s pig was not only mistaken for a dog by her dog. Pigs have some interesting traits that she just continues to learn about as she takes care of Hamilton.

“The first funny moment that I had with Hamilton is hearing him bark,” Perakis said. “I didn’t know that pigs barked, so I thought it was my dog at first. I went in the room and saw it was the pig.”

Besides both animals barking, Perakis realized that pig and dog maintenance are not one in the same. Her rambunctious dog, docile snake Tinker Bell and aggressive snake Casper make taking care of Hammy seem easy.

“In comparison, between having a dog and a pig,” Perakis said. “My pig was a lot easier to train because you don’t have to take them out three to four times a day to go potty, and they are really smart animals. Hammy only had one accident since I’ve had him.”

Whether a pig or another animal of choosing, COVID-19 has people exploring the importance of a companion living in their home. University of Illinois senior Ta’ah Tompkins bought a dog at the beginning of the stay at home order, and she finds it to be one of the best decisions she’s made.

“I think getting Kairo during COVID made him even more attached to me because I can’t even shower without him crying at the door,” Tompkins said. “So, that scares me a little for when I have to start leaving again, but having him always around feels good. He really has become my best friend.”

A dog is a traditional house pet, but Perakis saw her pig mom life as interesting enough to take them to the popular platform Tik Tok and quickly gained attention about her furry friend. One video raising over two million views of her feeding her pig a, to what the audience later finds out, is combination sausage.

“I really just posted the videos as something funny and lighthearted to post,” Perakis said. “People are so confident behind a screen and say anything. Some people thought it was funny that I fed him a sausage and others were really attacking me for it. I try to ignore most of it.”

She quickly learned that not every comment can be ignored because the safety of not only herself, but those who live with her have been threatened.

“One of the comments was someone thinking they found out what state I lived in and proceeded to try to get people in the comments to come find me,” Perakis said. “You never know how real people’s threats are. So, I just try to report and deflect.”

Perakis enjoys having her pig around the house so much that in the future she plans to add another to her list of animals.

“I think we are good for right now, but I definitely want another pig in the future,” Perakis said. “I would love to have a couple piglets, I think that would be pretty cool.”

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