Benicia city council approves pigs as pets

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It turns out that small pigs are popular pets, but not legal in roughly half of California cities and now Benicia has made them legal. (KGO-TV)

It turns out that small pigs are popular pets, but not legal in roughly half of California cities.

RELATED: Benicia may allow residents to keep small pigs as pets

Which way would Benicia go Tuesday night -- and who would have expected a wrinkle in the paperwork?

Don't let the Rottweiler Statute fool you, because, at Kristen Moore's house the prize pet is without question -- a baby Juliana pig named Hamilton.

He's a tail-wagging, Cheerio guzzling, come when you call him bundle of joy who hopes for legitimate pet status in Benicia. That is why Moore went to the city council Tuesday night hoping to alter a long-standing ordinance.

"I asked them to make an exception because the current ordinance refers to farm animals," Moore told ABC7 News. "And I asked for an exception for mini-pigs as pets."

Item 15B on the agenda would require pet pigs to have licenses, be walked only on leashes, be spayed or neutered, and be limited in size and weight to 22 inches at the shoulders and 100 pounds.

"We want to be responsible, but we do want pigs for companionship," said President of the California Potbellied Pig Association Marcie Christensen.

She told the council tonight that the size and weight standards are unrealistic.

"Pigs are always hungry, they are pigs," Christensen added.

And to keep even a miniature pig under 100 pounds, she says, would never work. Case in point, her own potbellied pig, which weighs in at 150 pounds -- a normal weight.

"You don't put a weight limit on a german shepherd, not on a Rottweiler, or a St. Bernard," said Christensen. "Why for a potbellied pig?"

And ultimately, that's what the council decided -- to allow the pigs to live legally as pets in the city.

Hamilton -- Benicia welcomes you.
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petsanimal newsanimalsanimalcute animalsregulationspet adoptionlawsBenicia
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