Benicia may allow residents to keep small pigs as pets

BENICIA, Calif. (KGO) -- Next week, the city of Benicia will consider an ordinance allowing residents to keep potbellied pigs as pets. But local experts say part of the ordinance limiting the pigs to 100 pounds is unrealistic and will be impossible to enforce.

Let's be honest, Marcie and Chris Christensen's backyard has gone to the hogs. "Potbellied pigs, Vietnamese, Asian, Chinese, miniature, teacup, Juliana, Junliani. They're all the same thing, they're all the same pig," Marcie said.

The Christensens currently have two, Bricks and Mason. Bricks is the gentle one who likes to lay out in the shade. Mason is the alpha pig but doesn't care for the limelight.

Together, the Christensens run the California Potbellied Pig Association, with more than 1,000 members around the world.

"I find that I relate to them better than I relate to dogs or cats or anything else," Chris said.

The couple is glad that Benicia is thinking about allowing residents to own potbellied pigs, except for one provision in the ordinance which would require the pets to weigh under 100 pounds.

"They grow until they are 5 typically and I've seen 300 pounders," Marcie said.

"Pigs won't curl up in your lap, thank God," Chris said.

They believe that standard comes from a 20-year-old set of guidelines for 1-year-old show pigs.

"If they really want to put some restrictions, put mandatory licensing, mandatory yearly licensing and mandatory spay and neuter," Marcie said.

They also want potential owners to know that pigs can be hard on lawns and property and rack up expensive vet bills.

The plan to share some of that knowledge when they attend Benicia's city council meeting on the potbellied pig ordinance next week.

Click here for more information on the Potbellied Pig Association.
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