Blue, a mini pot-belly pig owned for 11 years by the Sickles family of Fuquay-Varina, escaped the family yard and was shot by Paul Inscore, who used a bow and arrow to kill what he thought was a wild pig, the Charlotte Observer reported Thursday.
"We are completely shattered and devastated for my family," said Nicole Sickles, adding she is a brain tumor survivor, and considered Blue her service pet.
Blue was also a helpful companion to her son, 5-year-old Adam, who has Down syndrome, as well as a friend to her four other children, Nicole Sickles said.
Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, however, defended his deputy.
Sickles said she does not want Inscore to get in trouble. Instead, she and Penny Jeffrey, owner of Pig Pals of N.C., a rescue and adoption group for abandoned miniature pigs, said they want to use the incident to educate police and residents on the differences between domesticated and wild pigs.
Sickles and her family said they want to lobby Wake County and the city to change the law to recognize miniature pigs as domesticated pets so they cannot lawfully be hunted.