and his 2-year-old 95-pound Vietnamese pot-bellied pig Sweet Pea get plenty of attention from Monrovians when he walks her in .
"It’s OK, just go slow," he says to curious onlookers who ask about petting her. He also brings Cheerios, which visitors can feed to Sweet Pea.
"She’s born to eat," Rollins said. "If she finds a cookie or something, she’ll do a beeline for that area for a month. If it’s food, the memory is just incredible."
Rollins has been practicing law in Monrovia for about 15 years. Most of his practice involves employment law and representation of small businesses, with about half focusing on litigation and half on transactions.
"She’s one of the few pigs to have her own private attorney. She gets an incredible break on my fees," Rollins joked.
Rollins said one sad fact about pigs like Sweet Pea is that many are bought as pets but later they are often abandoned.
"People think, ‘It’s cute, I’m going to get one,’ and then they realize it’s not just a funny-looking dog," he said. "They’re stubborn. What’s the expression, pig-headed?"
He also said that having a heavy, full-grown pig step on your foot can really get your attention.
On the other hand, pigs like Sweet Pea can be very charming and intelligent. While Rollins demonstrated how to get her to sit for a Cheerio treat, Sweet Pea rapidly twitched her tail, which almost seemed to mimic a dog’s tail wagging back and forth.
Sweet Pea has also been featured on the Monrovia Public Library’s blog.
Previously, Rollins brought two other pet pigs, Penelope and Romeo Bubba The Love Sponge, to Library Park. Romeo Bubba The Love Sponge was his first pig, and Rollins won him in a raffle.
"He was a gentle giant," Rollins said. "I view it as the best five dollars I ever spent."
"I did a lot of research on it so I had an appreciation for what I had to do," he added.
Rollins said that he’s been walking Sweet Pea in Library Park almost since the day he got her, but he has to be careful not to bring her there when the conditions are too hot.
"The heat can really affect them. They don’t pant or sweat. You almost have to submerge them in cold water," he said. "She’s getting her winter coat back."
He also said that the pigs shed quite a bit.
"She goes from looking like a bear to having no hair," he said.
Rollins said Sweet Pea only gets bathed about two or three times a year. "They don’t get fleas," he said. "And she will not wallow in a pool of mud." He said that pigs on farms usually wallow in mud to stay cool, but Sweet Pea spends about half of her day indoors.
In addition to Romaine lettuce and other low-calorie, high-nutrient foods, he feeds Sweet Pea a small handful of food that is specially formulated for potbellies.
"Absolutely nothing spicy," he said. "She is pretty fun to watch eat peanut butter. Just like a dog."
Sweet Pea does not like to be picked up, but not long ago, Rollins had to do just that when Sweet Pea suffered a broken leg. As she was recovering from surgery, Rollins came to check on her progress.
"When she heard my voice from 15 feet away, she got so excited that she struggled to stand up," he said. "It was really touching."
"I had to carry her everywhere she went for three to four months," he added. This included carrying her so she could still go out for her "walk."
"It was quite a load, but it was worth it," he said.
Sweet Pea has now recovered, and she and Rollins continue to meet plenty of friendly folks when they are out strolling.
"When I see the looks on little kids faces and stuff, it’s great," he said.
The next time you are walking in Library Park, keep a look out for a pig on a leash. You might get a chance to make friends with Sweet Pea and her owner.