- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) - To Tony Coleman, his pet pig Porkchop is much more than just an animal; he’s part of the family.

That’s why the Opelika resident approached the Opelika City Council Tuesday night asking it to consider amending city regulations to allow his black-and-white furry friend to continue to stay in his home.

“The reason I’m here tonight is because I’m hoping to persuade y’all to change a little bit of your rules. Back in September, me and my girlfriend went to Florida and bought a pot-bellied pig. We brought it back and the pig has become a real part of our family. He’s better than any dog; he doesn’t chase kids or bite people. He just kind of hangs out and he’s a really lovable character,” said Coleman.

Municipal ordinances make it illegal to keep pigs or hogs in the city. At the time he and his girlfriend obtained the animal, Coleman said he didn’t realize it was against city rules.

“When we looked into this, we didn’t look into the actual ordinance of Opelika; we looked into Lee County. Come to find out, about a week ago, somebody saw us outside with Porkchop - that’s his name - and they called animal control on us. They showed up at the house and said that we had 72 hours to do something with Porkchop. My girlfriend about passed out because Porkchop has really become a part of our family,” he said. “We didn’t get Porkchop to raise hogs; I didn’t get Porkchop to raise him to eat him.”

Coleman said he doesn’t want to move from his home in order to keep Porkchop, so his goal in coming to the council meeting was to persuade council members to modify the zoning rules. To do that, he brought Porkchop to meet the council.

“What we’re hoping we can do is just convince y’all to change the ordinance just a little bit to say you can have a pet pig . some kind of modification to say we can keep him,” he said.

“I don’t want to have to move because we’ve got to give up the pig. So what we’ve done tonight is we actually brought Porkchop here so he can say hey to y’all, so y’all can see how loveable he is.”

Seconds later, Coleman’s girlfriend walked Porkchop into council chambers on a leash.

Eating bites of a banana, the pig waddled his way past each member of the City Council.

When Porkchop walked toward Mayor Gary Fuller, Fuller only had one question.

“Can you pet him?” he laughed. Fuller left his seat to pet Porkchop before the pig and his owners left the meeting.

The council did not address Coleman’s request to amend the rules.


Information from: Opelika-Auburn News, https://www.oanow.com/

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