City considers allowing potbellied pigs


Photo used under a wikimedia license courtesy Alvesgaspar (Own work (own photo)) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

For city residents pining for legal pig pets, deliverance is on the hoof.

People could own up to four Vietnamese potbellied pigs under a law advanced Wednesday by a city council committee.

Councilman John Sharp, chair of the public safety committee, said he introduced the measure after working with city animal control and neighborhood housing services.

In one sense, it brings a city law up to date, Sharp said. Such pigs are allowed under an old law but only if they were acquired before Nov. 1, 1995.

That herd of legal pigs would be very thin, given that experts estimate their average life expectancy at from 12 to 20 years.

Asked how many pigs are in the city, Patrick Egberuare, manager of animal health and public safety, said, “from complaints over they years I would say very few.”

For those thinking of pigs as pets. experts say they generally top out at 100 to 150 pounds, unless there has been interbreeding with larger pigs. A host of websites advise on whether a pig is right for you.



  • Long life span (12-20 years)
  • Clean and odor-free
  • Non-allergenic in most cases
  • No fleas
  • Very little shedding
  • Quickly trained: letterbox, tricks, harness, etc.
  • No barking
  • Non-destructive, unlike a puppy
  • Low maintenance: annual vet visit, low feed consumption
  • Communicative, affectionate and intelligent


  • You may not be zoned to own a pig
  • You may not have a vet available who knows how to treat potbellied pigs
  • Pigs can become spoiled and manipulative
  • Pigs require a commitment of time and energy from their owners”

Also from that website:

“Man rates the pig as the fifth most intelligent animal with man ranking first, followed by monkeys, dolphins, whales and pigs.”

They function by instinct, intuition and memory, learn fast and do not forget.

“You need to stay one step ahead of your pig or she will train you to do exactly what suits her fancy. Pigs are much like children. They find your weak spot and manipulate until they get their way.”

But they interact and are tolerant: “a pig will treat you like an equal if given the opportunity.”

They are also affectionate and love body closeness. “Many pig owners actually allow their pig to share the bed and maintain that a porcine sleeping partner is not only warm and cuddly, but doesn’t wiggle, squirm, or hog the bed.”

It may be good to get two pigs, experts say, because they are herd animals and an older single pig can get grumpy.

One Comment

  1. rose says:

    not in my backyard!

Leave a Comment