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Council Wants Public Input on Pet Pigs

September 23, 1998|CHRISTINE CASTRO

Inviting more community input, the City Council on Tuesday postponed a vote on whether to allow residents to keep pot-bellied pigs as household pets.

The issue will come back before the council Oct. 13.

City staff members have recommended that the council keep its prohibition on pet pigs, citing research from animal welfare groups showing that many pot-bellied pigs end up being abandoned.

The pigs also pose health and safety hazards and, because of their size, can carry a risk to small children, said John Poole, city code enforcement manager.

Resident Cher Houston has asked the council to let her keep her pet, Mu Shu. More than 100 city residents have contacted her to say they too are keeping pet pigs illegally, she said.

Houston and her pig drew the council's attention in July after a neighbor complained to city code enforcement about Mu Shu's smell.

Officials ordered Houston to remove the pig. City code prohibits farm animals on properties smaller than an acre.

Houston contended there was no need to prohibit pigs, just regulate them.

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