Two female police officers thought someone was telling porkies when they were called to arrest – this runaway pig.
WPCs Alison Reeve and Fiona Collins were stunned when they spotted the animal trotting along the street next to a busy road.
They approached the eight-month-old porker but it ran away so the officers were forced to rugby-tackle it before bundling it into the back of a patrol car.
The pig, nicknamed ‘Percy’, was found wandering around in Leicester city centre on New Year’s Day.
But rather than taking him down the station, they drove Percy to nearby Woodside RSPCA centre, in Braunstone, Leics.
When vets gave him a once-over they found that he was slightly underweight and had a skin condition.
Staff at the centre, which also cares for domestic pets, said they thought Percy may have been abandoned by his owner when he got too large for them to cope with.
They warned that fashionable micro-pigs, made popular by celebs like Paris Hilton, the Beckhams and Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, can swell to a massive 17 stone.
Centre supervisor, Carrie Stoker, 25, said staff believed Percy had been kept as a pet by an inexperienced owner.
She said: “I think the officers thought it was a joke when they got the call but when they went out and found him they were shocked.
“Luckily they managed to get him in to the back of the car and brought him to the animal shelter.
“When they arrived they just kept saying ‘what on Earth was a pig doing in the city centre’?
“There are no green spaces where he was picked up so he was probably being kept as a pet in someone’s garden.
“Micro-pigs can be a bit of a genetic gamble, people buy them when they are small and cute but they don’t realise that they have the potential to grow so big.
“Now that Percy’s settled in and is eating properly he’s starting to come out of himself – he’s got a bit of an attitude about him so maybe he was a bit of a handful for whoever had him.”
Assistant manager Jade Burton added: “It is a very strange thing – we are used to stray cats and dogs, but pigs are a different thing altogether.
“I’ve been here 12 years and I think this is the third pig I have heard of being found here.
“They really are a specialist animal, who need specialised care, so anyone who is thinking about getting one as a pet should get some proper advice first from professionals.”
They added that the centre is looking to rehome Percy with owners who have experience looking after pigs.
Anyone with information about Percy’s owners can contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.