Local News

Fayetteville Man Hogtied Over City Code

Posted January 16, 2000

— One family says thecity of Fayettevilleis raising a huge stink over some potbellied pigs.

Gary Turner is hog wild over Babe and Porky. He thinks of them as members of his family. "You run around with them, you chase them and they'll chase you," he says.

Turner considers his potbellied pigs domesticated animals. The city does not.

Turner has lived in his home for three years and never had a problem with the pigs until his neighborhood was annexed into the city last July.

Turner got a letter citing Fayetteville City Code Section 7-4, which says, "It shall be unlawful to keep hogs within the corporate limits."

Turner was told to get rid of the pigs or face a fine of up to $300.

He thinks the problem should be rooted out by grandfathering Babe and Porky in. "I don't think it's right," Turner says. "They tell you to get rid of this or that after you already had it."

But according to the city's Assistant Inspection Director, "Grandfathering only applies to zoning issues, and this is a city code issue where grandfathering is not allowed."

Milton Bass owns a ranch of exotic animals. He now raises potbellied pigs that have been forced from their city homes.

Bass says the pigs are "probably one of the finest pets there is. The ability to teach them something is only exceeded by primates."

In a similar case in 1992, the city council refused to give in.

Turner has contacted "Pig Pals of North Carolina," a non-profit group dedicated to educating the public about potbellied pigs. The group is trying to help find the pigs a safe, loving home.

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