By Mary Thurwachter
John Park didn’t appear before the Lantana Town Council on April 9 to squeal about tax increases or garbage pickup. He just wants to keep his mini pig.
Park, who has a home on South 11th Street, said he received a code violation after his pet mini pig escaped his backyard and was found snoozing in the front yard with the family dog.
“Our back gate blew open and the pig got outside, and it just so happened that at the time code enforcement was driving by,” Park said. “They saw the pig and the dog just laying on the front yard. We were found to be in violation. I didn’t have a neighbor report us.
“The pig is potty-trained. It lives inside the house with us. It knows its name. It’s pretty much the same thing as a dog.”
He asked if the law could be amended or changed to allow him to keep his pig. The ordinance prohibiting pigs really has more to do with livestock than personal pets, he argued.
Park found sympathetic ears from council members, who agreed to discuss the matter further and have the town attorney, Max Lohman, draft language to modify the town code as it pertains to domestic animals.
“We don’t want chickens, hens and goats running around the neighborhood. I got that,” council member Lynn Moorhouse said. “I’d like to see us at least talk about it.”
Council member Phil Aridas agreed. “People have pigs for pets. They’re great pets. They’re cute,” he said.
“Smarter than most people,” Moorhouse added.
“I’m pro pig, Mr. Mayor,” council member Malcolm Balfour chimed in.
“I’m all in favor of having a discussion of reasonable restrictions,” said Vice Mayor Ed Shropshire.
Before Lohman begins drafting an ordinance, Mayor Dave Stewart asked Town Manager Deborah Manzo to poll residents to gauge their feelings on the issue. “We want the best for all the residents. Not too strict. Not too lenient.”
The matter is on the May 14 agenda.
In the meantime, Park’s little piggy stays home.