OPELIKA, Ala. – When you enter the home of Tony Coleman and Candice Guinn, you will not be greeted by a dog. You will be greeted by another animal with four legs. His name his Porkchop, a Juliana pig.
He’s been a part of their home since September when they brought him home from Florida. Since then, Porkchop has become part of the family. A few weeks ago, his owners brought him to Opelika City Council to see if the city’s ordinance on pigs in the city limits can be changed.
The current ordinance says that pigs or hogs are not allowed in the city.
Monday, they received a letter from the city saying there was not a consensus by city council to change the ordinance and that Tony and Candice have two weeks to find a new home for Porkchop. “According to the letter right here, it says Potbelly pigs can be destructive if allowed to roam,” Coleman said. “The most Chop’s gonna do is get a little excited about some food. We’re not gonna let him roam the streets.” The family says they were shocked when they received the letter. They add that two weeks is not enough time to find a new home, and they plan to ask city council if they can have until July so they can find a new home.
They have even started a petition to keep Porkchop in Opelika.
Ward 3 Councilmember Dozier Smith T says he received some feedback from his constituents to not make a change. He adds that in his opinion, in order to change an ordinance that has been in place for years, there has to be a great consensus from his constituents to make a change, and he says he did not get the feeling from his constituents to make the change. However, he does not want to see the family leave the city. “It’s hard to cherry-pick when you’re doing ordinances,” Smith T said. “You can’t really do that. You’ve gotta look at the city and for my sake, my ward as a whole, and sometimes you’ve gotta make some tough choices.”
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller says he feels for the family, but he can not pick and choose the ordinances he enforces. He added that the council may have been fearful that amending the ordinance could have set a precedent for citizens trying to have other animals as pets.
As for Tony and Candice, they do not know where their next home will be, but they know Porkchop will be a part of it.