A Vermont woman says her town’s order to remove the 30 to 40 mini-pigs living in her home is pure hogwash. Florence Gruber started breeding the mammals over two years ago. Now the zoning board of Essex, Vt. wants them gone by Jan. 22. “I wanted to breed something that was small, but I didn’t want anything that made noise, like yappy little dogs,” Gruber said “And pigs are quiet, and they’re peaceful, and they’re affectionate.”
Gruber admitted that keeping that many pigs in her home has hurt her quality of life. She’s willing to give away most of them – except for the two or three she wants to keep as pets. “We never intended to keep this many in a situation like this,” Gruber explained, adding that she and her partner, Alan Tsefrekas, have basically giving their lives over to the animals.
“We don’t have time to eat,” she said. “Last night we had dinner at 3 o’clock and then went to bed, and that’s the way it goes.”
Gruber and her pigs ended up in Essex after a court in New Jersey, where she was living, ordered her to find new homes for the animals.
Essex, Vt., and the neighbourhood of Pinewood Manor are following suit, arguing that pigs cannot be kept in a home as pets because they are considered livestock.
“It’s not a debate about if pigs are good for so and so,” Brian Marcotte, chairman of Pinewood Manor’s homeowners association, said. “It’s irrelevant. No pigs in Pinewood.”
An adult mini-pig weighs anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds and Gruber says hers are house-trained. She objects to the town defining them as livestock. Gruber said that while she wants to keep a few of the pigs, she will ultimately comply with the town’s orders. She has contacted a number of animal organizations, who are currently working to relocate pigs.