Family wants its pig back

August 5, 2009 7:22:12 PM PDT
A Fayetteville family is happy city council members have a change of heart and might allow an 8-year-old autistic boy keep his pet pig. The council met Monday for a work session to discuss changing a ban on pot-bellied pigs inside city limits.

Wearing T-shirts that said "Free Loopey," 8-year-old Anthony Pia and his family sat and listened as city leaders talked about a new ordinance that would allow the animal inside the city limits.

Four weeks ago, Lisa and Bobby Pia were forced to return their son's pot-bellied pig to the farm where they purchased it. A city inspector told the Pias they could not keep the pig because it violated a city ordinance.

According to Anthony's mom, one-year-old Loopey was a pet and emotional therapy for her son.

"She [Loopey] has done so many wonderful things for him," said Lisa Pia, Anthony's mother. "They play together, they comfort each other through thunderstorms, and he interacts with her better than he would a child his age."

Anthony's step-father, Bobby, compiled packets of information about other cities, including Raleigh that had changed ordinances allowing the animal.

Council member Keith Bates proposed a new ordinance that would allow pot-bellied pigs to be kept in the city as pets. Members instructed the city staff to come up with a workable ordinance for their Sept. 10 workshop session.

Council members could approve the ordinance at their next regular scheduled meeting.

In the meantime, Anthony said he would go out to a farm to see Loopey and it gives them time to plan a big welcome home party for her.


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