SIERRA MADRE (CBSLA.com) — It’s official: Neil the pot-bellied pig can stay in Sierra Madre.
KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports it’s the end of a saga that has captured the hearts of residents throughout the community just east of Pasadena.
Neil, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, has resided in the front yard of Katherine Emerson’s home along Montecito Avenue for the last 17 years and is somewhat of a local celebrity.
“He has visitors all the time, seven days a week,” Emerson said.
But when authorities responded to a recent complaint Emerson filed with the city about a noisy rooster one of her neighbors was keeping, Neil became targeted for inspection as well.
“When we went out there and located the rooster, the animal control officer also noticed that Neil the pig was in the yard,” said Sierra Madre Police Chief Larry Giannoni.
Under the Sierra Madre municipal code 08.030, hogs are prohibited from residing within city limits, according to the city’s official website.
Both Emerson and the rooster’s owner were warned that the animals would have be relocated – a move that sparked outrage on Twitter and other social media sites.
Giannoni later declared that Neil did not fall under the classification of “hog” since his weight is less than 120 pounds, and thus would be able to remain at the Emerson residence as an unofficial city mascot.
“That was one of the first places the previous chief took me over here, to see Neil the pig,” he said. “He’s part of the community.”
Emerson told reporters she credits the support of Neil’s fans on social media with helping to sway authorities to let the pot-bellied pig stay home.