SAVE SOOIE, the Pot Bellied Pig!

I've wanted a pet pig since I was 13 years old. At 33, after getting divorced and my son and I moving into our own place, I thought, "My husband and my parents can't tell me 'NO' anymore so by god, I'm gonna get a pig!"
So, I started researching them to make sure it was something I could actually handle and make a lifetime commitment to. One of the items that I checked was to make sure my city, Little Rock, Arkansas, allowed Pot Bellied Pigs. Under Ordinance # 6-41.5, it stated they were allowed. I moved forward with contacting a respected breeder and meeting with her and meeting a litter of piglets and the piglet's parents. I made a decision on a little boy, black with a white blaze between his eyes. I named him W.P. Sooie after the University of Arkansas' call, WOOOOO PIG SOOOOIE!

Sooie came home and settled in beautifully. Was housebroken within a week. Lived completely inside. Liked to go out in the sun and snooze occassionally. Got along with my 3 dogs. He's neutered, smart, funny and loving. Comes when you call him. Walks on a leash. Knows how to sit. So happy I finally had my pet pig!

Move forward 7 months, and I was faced with a quick decision when we were forced to move from our townhouse *(unrelated to the pig). I knew I wouldn't find a rental that would allow 3 dogs and a pig and I wouldn't sacrifice any of them. I wanted my son to have a place to call HOME. So i found a house in my budget with a nice fenced-in back yard and made an offer. BIGGEST REGRET OF MY LIFE.

The second day after we moved in, Animal Control was called. I had never had a complaint about them the 7 months I'd had Sooie so I was really surprised but not at all intimidated or fearful because I knew they were allowed since I'd done my research. The A.C. officer asked to meet the pig and see my yard and gave me the "ok" and left. I thought that was the end of it. However, I was written a citation for keeping livestock in the city a couple of weeks later and ordered to appear in court. I hired the only lawyer I could find to help me and whom I could afford. I'm a single mom, lawyer fees for my pets aren't in my budget!

The city offered us a "plea deal" that if I'd give up the pig, they wouldn't fine me anything. I laughed. We went to trial with a judge. The judge ruled in my favor that the ordinances were murky at best but he interpreted as I had and allowed my pig. Relief!! Local media took an interest and I was so touched by the people who defended us.

However, the city wasn't finished. Much like a toddler who doesn't get their way, they decided they'd have to CHANGE the ordinance so that I couldn't have him anymore. With shenanigans from my neighbors, who are friends with a 'high-ranking' board member, Joan Adcock, a witch hunt began. The public meetings were sketchy. Cancelled or added at the last minute. Dragged on for months. Finally, when it was time to cast a vote on the issue, Joan Adcock was able to get an empty seat on the board filled with someone from my very street who had complained about the pig. The vote was 4 to 3, in favor of not allowing Pot Bellied Pigs in the city except with a 300-foot radius to the nearest residence. The very ordinance the Judge had ruled against. Oh, and guess who was the swing vote? That new, convienently placed board member.

So, 9 months after I first moved into my house, after what should have been a joyous occasion for my son and my pets and me has been marred by nothing but ugly looks, talk behind my back, and regret. I can't sell my house. I just bought it at the top of the market. I can't afford to pay to sell it and as a former Realtor, that's exactly what I'd have to do. I could rent it but I wouldn't be able to find a rental to solve my problems.

So, I'm going to continue to fight. I have a big, bad, successful-in-animal-trials lawyer in mind. They are interested. I don't have the money to pay them. I am doing everything I can to gather the funds by cutting my son's Christmas short and eating PB&J. I made a commitment to my pet (who just happened to be a pig) and I will not abandon him. I won't watch my son cry himself to sleep with worry over what's going to happen to Sooie. I refuse to let crooked city politics overtake us. I am going to continue to fight, even though it's been emotionally and financially draining. I need help and every last dollar would contribute to Sooie's legal fund for him to stay with his family - the only home he's ever known.

Thanks so much for reading Sooie's story. If you can't contribute, please like and share his facebook page:

Hugs & Oinks,
Jyll & Sooie
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Jyll Fortney Latham 
Little Rock, AR
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