A New Carlisle family has a 100-pound, pot-bellied pig as a beloved pet but city officials said she must go.
Olive is owned by the Hedrick family and has lived with them for two years. But recently a neighbor complained about the pig and city officials sent Hedrick a letter telling them they had to get Olive out of their home.
“She’s in our family, she’s like a dog, a cat,” Misti Hedrick said.
Olive is litter trained , she said, and likes to run around their fenced-in yard.
But an ordinance bans hogs, pigs, horses, mules and other types of farm animals from the city unless in an agriculturally zoned area. The family lives in a residential area, New Carlisle City Manager Randy Bridge said, so they either need to move or remove Olive from the home.
“We are compassionate people,” he said. “But unfortunately we have a set of ordinances that we have to administer.”
Their other option, he said, is to get the ordinance changed to allow for pot-bellied pigs.
Hedrick said she plans to do that.
“I have a lot of people in the community that are backing me,” she said, like her neighbor Suzy Gorby.
“My son and daughter were outside playing in the backyard and they said, ‘Mommy the neighbors have a pig!’” Gorby said. “And I thought it was the coolest thing.”
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Hedrick will have to start a initiative petition to put changing the ordinance on the ballot. The earliest it could be voted on by residents is August, according to New Carlisle Vice Mayor John Krabacher.
”As council we worry about the community,” he said. “Do we want that as a next door neighbor?”
Hedrick has been given until the beginning of April to get rid of Olive. She’s now looking for a temporary home for the pig.
“She cannot be outside all the time,” Hedrick said. “She will not survive.”
The family is going about keeping their pet in the right way, Bridge said.
“What we have here is a set of outdated ordinances,” he said. “A lot of these ordinances 20, 30, 50 years ago and they haven’t been updated.”
But the city isn’t unique in its ban of farm animals in residential areas, he said, which are in place to protect the health and safety of all residents.
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