Brutus the Mini Pig Brings Smiles Everywhere He Goes

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Brutus the Mini Pig is an American Mini Pig Association (AMPA) Certified Therapy Pig and all-around cool “little” piggy dude. He enjoys bringing smiles and giggles to all humans with his tricks & sassy charm.

Behind every good pig is a great human, and for Brutus that human is Jancee Doemel, who has been adopting mini pigs over the years. Jancee, who is based in northwestern Wisconsin, has a special bond with her pigs, as she's learned their personalities. Once she heard about the AMPA, she knew she wanted to try it out and share her love of these pigs to the world—and more importantly have her pigs share their love with people who could use a little lift.

"All told, I've adopted eight mini pigs, and everyone was a rescue," says Jancee. "Brutus was third, and he was the most suited to be a therapy pig. It's not for every hog. It takes a special type of pig to really connect with a stranger."

Jancee takes Brutus where he's needed, like the VA in Tomah, Wisconsin, where he's walked all around the campus, helping people forget about their problems and remember the good times.

"Because of Covid, the Rolling Hills Senior Living Community in Sparta, Wisconsin, asked us if we could do outside visits when the weather was decent so the residents could come to the windows and watch," she says. "This was when no outside visitors were allowed, and we were more than happy to provide some much needed entertainment during such a lonely and isolating time."

He does tricks like sit/high hoof/spin, and he plays a little piano keyboard. He's even known to play the drums when the inspiration strikes. This mini pig is so adept that he can complete a toddler ring stacking game. "The hardest thing is to think about small props for him," Jancee says. "I have a huge duffel bag of all his stuff that I take with me wherever we go. One cool trick he's learned is that he can dunk a ball in his mini basketball hoop."

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When Brutus was around six months old, Jancee pulled what she thought was a prank on a colleague who was leaving after years of service for her company by bringing Brutus to the office to say goodbye. "I tried with my first two pigs, but they didn't have the best public temperament," says Jancee. "Brutus had such a kind personality, so we snuck into my office for this guy's last day of work to surprise him. Brutus was a huge hit."

What Jancee didn't expect was for the whole office to fall hog over heels for her pig. She works on a military base, and the office next door housed the US Department of the Army photography studio, where men in uniform melted at the sight of Brutus. "I had him [Brutus] on his harness, and these soldiers in full dress uniform dropped to their knees," she says. "I was like really? These are people who are preparing for combat and this pig stopped them in their tracks. That made me think there was something about him, so I look into the therapy program and connected with a local nursing home. They were excited, and it worked."

"It's amazing how many people have never seen a pig in real life," she says. "We provide education and teach people who are in awe and don't know about how pigs really are. Brutus has worked in a few units that have memory loss and he helps trigger their memories, they see him and you can see the wheels turning in their mind. It's rewarding and fun."

Jancee makes sure that Brutus has stickers to hand out in public to make that connection. "Everyone loves stickers, especially the kids," says Brutus. And when he's not hanging out in public spreading love, he's hanging with the rest of the "Bacon Brigade," as Jancee calls them.

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Did you know that pigs are the fourth smartest animal in the world and cleaner than cats and dogs? Well Brutus taught us that, and we're sticking to it.