One by one they tumbled out, squealing and wriggling from the grasp of SPCA and Humane Society agents.
In all, 38 Vietnamese potbellied pigs of all sizes and colors were herded out of Phyllis Frisbey's dusty, weed-covered single-story home in Lake View Terrace and hauled away by animal welfare officers Thursday.
After an anonymous caller squealed on Frisbey to an animal cruelty hot line operated by the SPCA, Los Angeles County health department officers checked out the manure-filled house and declared it unfit for pigs to live in, said Madeline Bernstein, executive director of the Los Angeles SPCA.
Frisbey was not cited for any criminal offense, but she will be if she continues to shelter pigs at the house without securing a special permit, Bernstein said.
It is illegal to possess the pigs in the city of Los Angeles without such a permit, which limits the number of pigs depending on the space available, Bernstein said. They are allowed as pets in some other cities.
Frisbey said she took in unwanted pigs in her role as co-chairwoman of the Los Angeles Pot Belly Pig Rescue Assn.
But the porkers, ranging in size from 30 to 100 pounds, were endangered by overcrowding, the accumulation of manure and the overgrowth of their hoofs and tusks, Bernstein said. The pigs slept in dog houses but had free run of the house, SPCA officials said.
A defiant Frisbey said she will not change her ways.
"I will sell my house and leave before I give them all up," she vowed