Town in Vermont Rules That Woman's Dozens of Pet Pigs Must Go

A couple raised over 40 miniature potbellied pigs in their home

Florence Gruber and Alan Tsefrekas might have to get rid of their pets or move out of their Essex, Vermont home, following a town ruling on the matter.

Said pets are 30 to 40 miniature potbellied pigs, and the couple raises them indoors, Burlington Free Press writes. In fact, they have so many pigs, they don't even know the exact number.

Their feeding and grooming takes up most of caregiver Florence's time.

“Last night we had dinner at 3 o’clock and then went to bed, and that’s the way it goes,” she tells reporters.

She was already obligated to move once because of the unusual pets, when the housing board evicted them from their residence in Paulsboro, New Jersey.

In the town of Essex, pigs are registered as livestock and not as pets, therefore they are not allowed indoors. Tsefrekas' ex-wife wife reported the couple to the zoning board, claiming they were dumping the animals' waste behind the house.

Zoning Administrator Sharon Kelley checked out the situation in November, counting 47 pigs and piglets. Since then, the couple has tried giving away the animals, but still have a long way to go.

“We want to get rid of all of them except two or three. [...] We never intended to keep this many in a situation like this. It was just an emergency to save their lives,” Florence explains.

She describes she has been raising mini-pigs for two years.

“I wanted to breed something that was small, but I didn’t want anything that made noise, like yappy little dogs. [...] And pigs are quiet, and they’re peaceful, and they’re affectionate,” she says.

“The animals are being worked with. Many rescue organizations are involved. No one is looking away,” Huntington animal control officer Pam Alexander notes, stressing the pigs will be relocated.

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