A Newton family’s fight to change the city ordinance to allow them to have a miniature pig as a pet is moving closer to reality. Paul and Dawn Bleeker are seeking to get the ordinance changed that classifies all pigs as dangerous animals so they can get a pig for their daughter who is allergic to furry animals.
Two of five council members voted against the pig proposal on December fifth and one was absent. The Bleeker’s obtained more signatures from councilman Steve Mullan’s ward supporting their position after he voted “No” and said his ward was not well represented in their first effort.
Mullan said at last night’s meeting he is still concerned. “One question I would have is, what happens to the pig, even with the change in the ordinance when it reaches the maximum height or weight? Where does it go? In the meantime you’ve become emotionally attached to this pet and now you’ve reached the max, and now what happens?” Mullen asked.
“It’s like a death in the family or what?. I just raise the issue.” The proposed change to the city ordinance would allow spayed or neutered pigs up to 100 pounds and 24 inches tall, with no more than two pigs per property. At-large councilmember, Noreen Otto, said she doesn’t see miniature pigs as being a big concern.
“I think as long as we have some restrictions in place, I don’t really see why this poses any kind of problems to the community any more than any other of the pets we allow responsible pet owners to decide to adopt in the community. I would want the council to continue the discussion and to craft a proposal to work on this issue,” Otto said.
A majority of the Newton council voiced support for allowing the Animal Rescue League director to come up with a recommended ordinance on the miniature pigs for the council to consider.
By Randy Van, KCOB, Newton