TREMONT — Jimmy Hamdricks is looking for love.
Twice rejected, the pot-bellied pig has been at the Tazewell County Animal Control shelter since last week. The 150-pound porker needs a good home — and, aside from food, not much else. Ryan Sanders, director of the agency, says the big critter is low maintenance.
"He seems like a big blob," Sanders says, chuckling.
Recently, his original owner asked a Pekin friend to watch the pet for a few days, but that turned into weeks, with no sign of the owner. So, on Friday, the friend lugged the pig to the shelter, saying it was too much to handle — especially because Pekin ordinances do not allow pot-bellied pigs within city limits.
According to information provided to the shelter, Jimmy Hamdricks — the pet's given name — is housebroken and gets along with cats and dogs. The adoption fee is $50, which includes neutering.
"Come meet him," beckons the agency's Facebook page.
The shelter, 21314 Illinois Route 9 in Tremont, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. The phone number is (309) 925-3370.
In the past, the shelter has had good luck with pot-bellied pigs. About five arrive every year. Some escape their homes — one evaded animal-control officers for two weeks last year while on the loose near Lick Creek Golf Course — and later get picked up at the shelter by their owners.
Other times, owners realize pot-bellied pigs — which as adults can range from 100 to 250 pounds — turn out to be a bigger challenge than expected. So, the pigs get left at the shelter.
"They're little as babies," Sanders says. "But they grow up to be monsters."
Still, the shelter has not failed to find a home for any unwanted pig.
"We do what we can," Sanders says.
PHIL LUCIANO is a Journal Star columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/philluciano and (309) 686-3155. Follow him on Twitter.com/LucianoPhil.