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Cape deems pot-bellied pigs ‘domestic animals’

By Staff | Sep 13, 2010

Pot-bellied pigs can now be part of your family, legally, in the Cape.
City Council approved ordinance 72-10 Monday night, which amended the city’s animal control policy to reclassify pot- bellied pigs as domestic animals.
That made Julie Abercrombie and her eight month old pot-bellied pig, Olivia, very happy.
“She is like a member of my family,” Abercrombie said. “She sits on the couch, she knows how to sit, she’s very tame.”
Previous votes approved two special variations to allow two separate pot-bellied pigs, but Councilmember Kevin McGrail feared a universal acceptance of the animals would lead to pigs being let loose into the wild by irresponsible owners.
He said he would support another special variation for Ab-ercrombie’s pot bellied family member, but wasn’t comfortable with the potential fallout of pigs abandoned and breeding in the wilds of North Cape Coral.
“I don’t want to open this entire city up to generations of pigs,” McGrail said.
Councilmember Pete Brandt said that other municipalities around the country have similar ordinances.
He added that since the two exceptions were previously allowed, it should be allowed across the board.
Brandt said he wasn’t too concerned with people acting irresponsibly with the animals.
“Responsible pet owners are going to be responsible,” Brandt said.
Mayor John Sullivan said that comparing the potential pig problems to other nuisance or invasive wild animals like Nike Monitor Lizards wasn’t a fair comparison.
“We can’t compared monitor lizards breeding up north to pot bellied pigs who aren’t neutered,” Sullivan said.
In other news, City Council unanimously approved a domestic animal services contract with Lee County for FY 2010 – 2011.
The contract is valued at $805,821.
City Council also adopted ordinance 75-10, which saved the city over $80,000 on the contract by falling in line with Lee County’s ordinance. Had they not adopted the ordinance, the contract would have been valued at $886,403.