The city of Huntingburg now has a new animal control ordinance.
Last night, the Huntingburg City Council voted 3 to 2 in favor of the new ordinance. The council passed it on its first reading.
Now the new ordinance was designed following questions raised after a family who has a potbellied pig approached the council. The family wanted to keep the pig as a pet and raised additional issues with animal control in the city. The previous ordinance did not allow for potbellied pigs to be kept, though they have become popular pets nationwide in recent years.
Potbellied pigs are not aggressive animals by nature. They also are not used as food.
The animals have most often been used as pets in nursing homes and for children with disabilities. That is partially due to the animal’s quiet and non-aggressive disposition.
The new ordinance does have some restrictions on potbellied pigs however. The pig cannot weigh more than 150 pounds, cannot be kept outside permanently, has to be kept in a clean environment, and must be registered with city code enforcement. The animals will also have to have yearly vaccinations and medical check-ups.
Huntingburg mayor Denny Spinner says the new ordinance will provide clarity for animal control in the city:
The dissenting votes came from councilmen Alex Blackgrove and Steve McPherron. Blackgrove expressed his concern that the provision allowing potbellied pigs into the city could be abused. Meanwhile, McPherron was concerned with how the city would enforce the ordinance.
Meanwhile, councilman Glen Kissling was among those in favor of the new ordinance. He specifically pushed to have the pigs kept indoors and also talked about his concerns about government telling folks what they can and can’t keep in their homes. Amy Lehr was also among those in favor.
A final reading of the ordinance will take place at the council’s next meeting on August 28th.