FUQUAY-VARINA — Neighbors living next to a potbellied pig sanctuary in Fuquay-Varina say the swines stink and they want them gone.
PigPals of North Carolina has rescued 300 of the unwanted pets since 1997. The sanctuary is the only one of its kind in the state and has been nationally recognized.
"We're a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing or adopting miniature pigs," founder Penny Yocum said.
The sanctuary currently houses 55 pigs. Neighbors have raised concerns about the smell.
"When it gets very hot and on rainy days, you walk outside and it smells like a hog farm," neighbor Alison Batten said.
"There's no clear cut odor issue. We've had specialists with come out that evaluate the odor," Yocum, said.
There are also concerns about safety.
"Pigs have been loose in my yard," Batten said. "One has chased my son home from the bus stop."
"If a small child confronts them, they are so territorial that they will want to dominate that territory and they can trample children," neighbor Bob Schultz said.
Yocum says the pigs are domesticated animals and are no different than dogs or cats. She says they are not dangerous.
"I'm more concerned with people getting in to hurt my animals or even wild stray dogs to get in," she said.
The town says Yocum is in violation of its home business ordinance, which states no business related items are allowed outside the home. Yokum is appealing, saying she runs a nonprofit.
Neighbors are forming an association to enforce covenants that call for a ban of livestock in the subdivision.