The residential zoning board in Essex, Vermont decided Thursday that a woman’s pet house pigs must go. Florence Gruber and Alan Tsenfrekas have been ordered to remove around 40 miniature potbellied pigs from their home before January 22.
Gruber and Tsenfrekas consider their pigs house pets, but they are unsure of exactly how many pigs they have. The pigs, which can grow to weigh 50-100 pounds roam freely in the couple’s home. They have a feeding trough in their living room and beds with blankets in nearly every room in their house. They couple says that their pigs are trained to use litter boxes.
Unfortunately for the pair, the zoning board in Essex does not consider pigs house pets. As reported by Burlington Free Press, The town defines pigs as livestock, or agricultural animals and prohibits livestock in residential neighborhoods.
Some of the pigs were given new homes before the zoning board had made its decision. Once word got out that the couple may need to get rid of their pets, people started showing up at the door offering to adopt the pigs.
Gruber had a similar problem in New Jersey last spring. A court in Paulsboro, New Jersey ordered the woman to get rid of the 30 pet pigs she had at that time. Rather than give up her house pets, Gruber moved to Vermont with Mr. Tsefrekas. As reported by The San Francisco Chronicle, she says she was unaware that Vermont had similar laws about pet pigs.
Officials in Essex started investigation the couple after they received complaints that they were dumping animal waste into a local ravine.
Although Gruber will admittedly miss her pet house pigs, she has stated that she feels some relief as it was becoming a burden to properly care for so many of them.