- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

ISHPEMING TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A family in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is upset after a state Department of Natural Resources officer fatally shot their pet potbelly pig while it was on the loose.

Brandy Savelle and Tony Gervasi said they got the pig named Caesar about two years ago and had been training the animal to be outside. Last week, they posted on Facebook that the pig was missing and followed his tracks to where the animal had been shot.

“When I followed the prints … it was like a puddle of blood, at first I didn’t believe it,” Savelle said. “I just started screaming for him.”

The shooting, which happened on state land, was permitted because the animals can carry disease and damage property, WLUC-TV reported (https://bit.ly/1yaj7Mg ). The officer believed it was a feral pig, since it had no identifying marks to distinguish him as a pet, the DNR said.

“I want to make it very clear that it’s never, ever, ever the department’s position that we want to shoot people’s pets,” said Peter Wright, a law supervisor for the DNR. “If he had any inkling it was a pet he absolutely wouldn’t have shot it. But at that point he didn’t know that and he was just doing his job.”

Savelle said she doesn’t want the DNR to end up shooting a pet pig again.

“If it was that big of a mistake then we would like to see better training,” Savelle said. “Let’s learn to identify not just pigs, but all pets.”

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Information from: WLUC-TV, https://www.wluctv6.com

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