SEAL BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The city of Seal Beach is officially pigging out.
The City Council voted 4-0 Monday night in favor of an ordinance that amends the current Municipal Code to prohibit “the keeping of pigs of any size, kind, or sex.”
While section 7.05.120 of the code prohibits the keeping of cattle, hogs, fowl, goats, horses, or mules within city limits, officials recently determined that use of the term “hog” inadvertently limited the ordinance to pigs that weigh over 120 pounds, and couldn’t be legally applied to smaller pigs.
Some neighbors have complained about Madonna Grimsley’s pet pig Bubba, who weighs more than 200 pounds, saying he smells and makes noise.
Animal control officers said they have had multiple contacts with his owners, but the decades-old law only applied to hogs, not pot-bellied pigs like Bubba.
“He harms nobody, he doesn’t make noise, he doesn’t smell, he’s not a feeder, we’re not raising him to eat him, he’s not a breeder, we’re not breeding pigs,” said Grimsley, who keeps Bubba at her apartment, which has an outdoor terrace. “He’s had his shots. He’s an exotic pet.”
“There have been studies that show that pigs — once they reach a certain size and age — that they do have the tendency to revert to the wild,” said Jim Basham, Seal Beach’s Director of Community Development. If that were the case, Basham said a pig like Bubba is no longer be considered a domesticated animal.
For more than a year, Bubba’s owners have been cited for having an illegal animal, according to the manager of Long Beach Animal Care Services, which has the contract for Seal Beach. The fines range from $100 to $500.
Grimsley told CBS2’s Michele Gile she had no idea that Bubba was the subject of the council meeting and said she intends to continue to keep him at her apartment.
“I’m not getting rid of my pig, no way,” Grimsley said. “Sure, dogs bark all day long too; you know there are times when he makes his noises. But for the most part he sleeps all day. He’s a pig.”
The manager of Long Beach Animal Care Services, which oversees animal services for Seal Beach, has said he will help find Bubba a new home.
The ordinance will take effect in Seal Beach 30 days after the scheduled second reading.