A New Carlisle, Ohio resident, Misti Hedrick, was informed by city officials that she has less than a month to get rid of her family’s 100-pound pot-bellied pig, Olive. The city’s position is that the pig is considered livestock, and zoning ordinances prohibit Olive from living inside city limits.
WHIO reports that Hedrick is one of a growing number of pet owners enamored with these friendly pigs. Pig enthusiasts say they are social creatures, have advanced communication skills, are curious by nature, and are the fifth most intelligent animal, behind man, monkeys, dolphins, and whales. Pigs are affectionate and love companionship and body closeness, with many owners allowing their pig to share the bed.
In terms of size, pigs compare to a large dog. They have short legs, a slightly swayed back, a pendulous belly and a short tail and at maturity can weigh from 60 to 175 pounds, and measure from 13 to 26 inches in length. Estimates are that these animals live between 15 – 30 years. Hendrick argued that her beloved pig is like a family dog.
“She’s in our family; she’s like a dog, a cat. She reasons that the pig should not be barred by zoning laws because Olive is not raised for ‘food, fiber, or farm labor,’ so she is not livestock!”
The family has had the pig for two years without any trouble. Hendrick said that, ‘Olive is litter-trained, she gets baths, and she doesn’t smell.”
It sounds much like life with a dog.
In an interview, Hedrick said, “She stays mostly in the house, but when it’s nice I do let her outside, just like we do our dog. Olive follows us around the house too…she really does loves us. We love her too. She gets along great with our dog, Bell, except for the occasional scuffle when Olive tries to steal Bell’s food out of her mouth.”
The pig-owning family is engaged in a petition drive and an online petition called “Please Help Me Save My Potbelly Pig, Olive,” has more than 15,000 signatures. Hedrick is hoping to bring changes to the livestock ban before the voters on an August ballot.
WTSP reports that Vice Mayor, John Krabacher, says the objection to changing the law is that it could open the door to other farm animals being kept within the city.
In the meantime, Hedrick is seeking a temporary place for Olive to stay until the challenge is resolved.