Pot-bellied pig possession could lead to jail time for owner

July 3, 2013 at 2:45 PM

ELYRIA, Ohio, July 3 (UPI) -- An Elyria, Ohio, owner of two miniature pot-bellied pigs has been ordered to get rid of them or face jail time by a court saying they are a sanitation problem.

Tammy Wilson, owner of Fred and Diamond, each a 50- to 60-pound pig, said an issue related to pig droppings at her home is part of a dispute with neighbors.

"I've always wanted a potbellied pig and I've always wanted to breed them," Wilson said.

She was ordered to get rid of the animals by Elyria Municipal Judge Lisa Locke Graves or face jail time after the city's health inspector contacted the city prosecutor regarding complaints about the pig droppings in Wilson's yard.

"It got to the point where they [Wilson and family] wouldn't pick up the poop," said neighbor Cheryl Welton. "We're the ones smelling it. We can't have a cookout."

Elyria Health District Environmental Health Director David Oakes noted in a January report there were "multiple piles" of animal feces on Wilson's property, and he "had to use the sidewalk to step around it."

After a court hearing in May, Wilson was ordered to clean the pigs' mess every 24 hours to avoid jail time, but was told to remove the pigs after the court received a complaint she was not following through on the order, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram reported Wednesday.

Judge Graves has ordered Wilson to get rid of the pigs by Monday or spend 20 days in jail.

Wilson says she is now having trouble locating a place to donate the animals and may be forced to euthanize them.

"I really don't want to do that. They're perfectly happy and healthy animals," she said.

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