FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. — Fuquay-Varina leaders decided Monday night that a local pig shelter has to go, giving Pig Pals of North Carolina six months to pack up and move out of town.
So, just like that, the clock began ticking on potbellied pigs that had a caused a stink -- literally and figuratively -- among town residents.
Penny Yocum runs the shelter from her Fuquay-Varina home. She has rescued hundreds of unwanted pets in the last several years, including dozens of potbellied pigs.
The Fuquay-Varina Board of Adjustment voted unanimously Monday night that Yocum violates the town's home-occupation ordinance in spite of her non-profit status.
Yocum watched as the board discussed her case. She said afterwards that she was not surprised by the decision.
"We're doing a good job," Yocum said. "But we had one neighbor and his friends find we have problems with it."
That neighbor, Bob Schultz, also watched Monday's decision. Schultz led the effort to remove the pig shelter because he said it smelled, and he worried the pigs would escape and hurt his children.
"I find it disturbing in today's society that a neighbor can tell you what you can do with your property," Yocum said.
As for Yocum and the pigs, she said she is considering a legal challenge. She said one thing is for sure -- she is going wherever the pigs go.
"The pigs will remain with me the rest of their lives," she said. "That's what my job is, to make sure they don't get into any more situations where they're abandoned or abused."