ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. – A miniature pig named Lucky has been given a fortunate reprieve from eviction.
- Mini pig owners hoping for 'Lucky' break
- Zephyrhills City Council to discuss pet ordinance
- Ordinance defines domestic pets as animals without hooves
- Stephanie Ebling is fighting to keep pet Lucky
After a Zephyrhills City Council meeting Monday, the city is going to take a second look at an ordinance that defines domestic pets as animals without hooves, City Manager Steven Spina said.
“We really have no complaints about them,” Spina said. “They said there's some 20 other pigs (in the city). I’ve not seen or heard any, but if it’s not an issue, then maybe it doesn’t need to be an issue.”
The mini pig that started the discussion in Zephyrhills is named Lucky. Stephanie Ebling's daughters gave him to her as a gift five months ago.
“He’s just like one of the dogs,” Ebling said. "He greets me at the door when I pull up in my truck. He stands right there... He knows where the treats are.”
Spina said city leadership found out about Lucky after a code enforcement officer went to Ebling’s home to check on an unrelated code issue.
“That’s when our code enforcement officer, who coincidentally is named Joel Bacon, found the pig,” Spina said.
Ebling said that after making her case to the city council, she was told she would have to get rid of Lucky.
“I’m moving. I’m not getting rid of my pig. He’s like one of my kids. He’s part of the family,” she said.
Spina said the city decided to give Ebling, who rents, six weeks to find a new place to live.
Before that could happen, the city learned of a second pet pig named Meatball. Spina said Meatball’s owner spoke at Monday’s meeting.
“It’s kind of a comfort pig, that there are reasons that people have pigs instead of cats or dogs,” Spina said she told the council.
“They’re hypoallergenic; he doesn’t get fleas,” said Ebling of Lucky. “He’s pretty good upkeep. Bath time is a different story.”
Spina said staff will look into why the ordinance was written the way it was and check in with other communities about how they handle the animals. They’re expected to give their recommendation at the council’s July 11 meeting about whether to keep or revise the existing ordinance.
“I hope they do. I hope they do,” said Ebling of the possible revision.
A spokesperson for Pasco County said the county has no ordinance regarding mini or pot-bellied pigs.