CAROLINA BEACH — What would you do if you woke up to find that the town in which you live had decided it was going to ban your specific type of pet? Well, for one Carolina Beach resident, that’s not a hypothetical question.
Town Council is preparing to vote on a resolution that could remove so-called “mini-pigs” from the list of approved animals residents would be permitted to keep as pets which poses a problem for Rudy the mini-pig and his owner Sandy.
The entire situation came about thanks to one renter on the island who was keeping Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pigs and had a landlord complain about the situation.
In the Town of Carolina Beach, current town ordinances allow for the keeping of “miniature Vietnamese pigs” as pets. There’s just one problem with that wording — there is no such thing as a miniature pig, at least, not in the way most people think of the term.
According to an article from the North American Pet Pig Association, “Unfortunately, the use of the word miniature has been misinterpreted since the beginning of the potbellied pig revolution. What I mean by miniature is that compared to a commercial hog a potbellied pig is much, much smaller. A three-year-old commercial sow will weigh as much as eight hundred pounds. Compare this to a three-year-old potbellied sow weighing ninety pounds potbellied pigs are naturally small.”
Regardless of the definition, Rudy’s owner Sandy is concerned with the proposed prohibition.
“I have lived on the island since 2017. I sold my home in Wilmington, and I am a renter on Carolina Beach. My current landlord lives in the other half of the house, and there are no problems with Rudy. I am a medical professional employed by the federal government. I used to own a Pet Sitting Service, and I volunteered with animal rescues for a decade. I am no different than anyone else,” the owner wrote in a letter notifying the media of her intentions to protest the plans on Monday night during the Town Council meeting.
For Sandy, the town’s reaction to simply banning all pet pigs from the municipal limits thanks to the actions of one person is too much.
“A ban of pigs, in my opinion, is a drastic measure for a one problem tenant/landlord situation. Without being judgemental, it sounds like possibly the owners were at fault if their animals were not cared for properly. Also, maybe the landlord’s oversight for not having specifics in a lease. Banning pigs is only hurting people that have them here that take care of them properly,” she wrote.
The friendly neighborhood pig
It’s not just the fact that the proposed ban is reactionary, Carolina Beach’s previous regulations allowed Rudy to live in the town — if approved, what would Sandy be forced to do with him?
“I checked Carolina Beach town ordinance on pigs before I moved here. I am asking for Rudy to please be grandfathered into any new laws if put in place. We deserve a variance. It would create great confusion for Rudy if I had to get rid of him. I love living here, and the thought of moving is horrible. I do not believe in abandoning my pets,” she said.
While the term mini-pig, in general, is a misnomer, Rudy is relatively small when compared to even the larger pot-bellied pigs. He weighs only 52 pounds and is about 15-inches tall, about the size of a large beagle, Sandy said.
Rudy is also a hit with the neighbors and renters who vacation at Carolina Beach, Sandy claims.
“The beach houses that surround my house rent out in the summer. The vacationers love Rudy. I have a sign on the fence stating what he is allowed to eat. He runs out of his house as soon as he hears the cars pull in, and will grunt so they know he is there. He puts his hooves up on the fence so they will pet him,” she said.
Ultimately, Town Council will have the final say in the fate of Rudy and pigs in Carolina Beach on Monday night.
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