Pig-headed

Lake City rejects request to classify pigs as pets

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Charis Adams, 6, sits on her couch while her family's pet pot-bellied pig, Penelope, enters the living room Monday in their Post Falls home. The Adams have owned Penelope since adopting her from a breeder nearly two years ago.

COEUR d'ALENE - Sorry, Babe.

Pot-bellied pigs won't be added to the city of Coeur d'Alene's list of acceptable pets, after a subcommittee Monday denied a pig owner's request to expand the ordinance to include oinkers like his.

Pot-bellied pigs are allowed in Post Falls, but only inside Coeur d'Alene homes zoned in Residential 1 neighborhoods - a designation only befitting the larger Indian Meadows subdivision.

Zak Adams, a Post Falls resident looking to move his family to Coeur d'Alene - pig included - asked the Lake City to broaden its animal ordinance to allow pot-bellied pigs in more neighborhoods.

"She just hangs out," he said of his low-maintenance family pet, Penelope.

But the General Services subcommittee said it doesn't want to open the barn door allowing more livestock inside city boundaries.

"It's a slippery slope," said Steve Adams, GSC member and City Councilman who recommended Monday the city not move forward with the idea of expanding its animal ordinance. "Too slippery for me."

The GSC last denied a pet-owner's request for the city to allow pygmy goats. That request came around a year after the city put a three-chicken cap on the number of chickens a city resident could own. That lowball number brought flocks of chicken owners to city meetings, and the City Council later removed the 3-clucker limit.

But unlike with the chicken incident, the GSC said, the goat and pig requests seem to be individualized requests, whereas chicken owners brought a groundswell of support with them.

Post Falls, where Zak Adams lives, has allowed pot-bellied pigs for around a decade.

Owners must obtain a certification from a veterinarian that states their animal is not taller than 23 inches and doesn't weigh more than 125 pounds. Owners must also pass a site inspection through the city to show that the companion animal is properly cared for, said Police Chief Scot Haug.

Compliance and enforcement haven't been issues, he added.

"Zero problems," Haug said. "It just hasn't been an issue."

Zak Adams said Coeur d'Alene's decision doesn't bother him. He said he'll look for homes in areas where his family pet would be accepted, such as Indian Meadows or in Kootenai County.

"I'm fine with it," he said after the GSC decision. "It clarifies our real estate search."

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