A woman from Winona in Minnesota is accusing a work colleague, who was pet sitting her pig, of neglect after she allowed the pig to become obese, a local daily newspaper said Wednesday.

Michelle Schmitz, 22, said she left the pot-bellied pig, Alaina Templeton, with a colleague in February while she was recovering from ankle surgery. Within nine months the pig's weight tripled - from 22 kg (50 pounds) to 68 kg (150 pounds). In addition, it had trouble breathing and "stunk real bad."

"That pig is my life," the Winona Daily News quotes the woman, who even has the pet's name tattooed on her body, as saying.

The pig had to undergo a 4 and a half hour operation to remove its collar because it had become embedded in its neck. The pig is now slowly recovering from a pressure wound and infection.

Schmitz said she cried for several days when she realized that her pet was ill. She said that the pig-sitter could have let the pet run outside, where it could find additional food, instead of keeping the animal indoors and on a strict diet.

The fact that the pig was renamed Pork Chop by her caretaker, also provoked Schmitz's indignation.

"She's different now," Schmitz said, adding that the animal is now "scared."

The Winona County police department said no neglect charges have been filed so far by the owner.