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LA HABRA : These Little Piggies Staying Home

August 19, 1995|MIMI KO CRUZ

Jim Wallace contends that his family's pets, a pair of potbellied pigs, are clean, clever and affectionate. In La Habra, however, the animals are illegal, and a city enforcement officer this week gave the Wallaces 10 days to get rid of them.

Wallace pleaded with the City Council on Thursday night to change a longstanding ordinance that prohibits pigs in residential areas.

"Potbellied pigs are a decent pet," Wallace said. "They don't smell. They're not mean. They're cute. They play."

Councilman James Flora said Friday that most cities have similar ordinances restricting the number and type of animals allowed in neighborhoods. In La Habra, he said, "there was never a reason to change the law until this sort of thing popped up."

Some cities do allow pigs, which have become increasingly popular as pets, if they are neutered. The Wallace swine, Molly and Kevin, were neutered when they were rescued from pig refuge shelters nearly two years ago.

Flora said he will push for a change in the city's animal ordinance so that the Wallaces "will be satisfied." The rest of the council, too, is leaning toward a change, he said, and will schedule a public hearing on the matter.

Meanwhile, the city has stayed the 10-day order, to the great relief of the Wallaces, especially 12-year-old Priscilla.

"I taught Kevin how to sit, and I'm teaching Molly to roll," she said Friday. "They're my friends. I love them."

Her brother, Jason, 21, said the "piggies," who sleep in a pen in the Wallaces' back yard, are part of the family. "They're fun to watch," he said. "They're our pride and joy."

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