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COMMISSION TURNS NOSE UP AT PIG APPEAL

SHARE COMMISSION TURNS NOSE UP AT PIG APPEAL

The two-legged couch potato variety is OK, but other potbellied pigs will not be permitted in Salt Lake County homes.

The County Commission voted this week to reject an appeal by Magna resident Brenda Button to include miniature potbellied pigs in the zoning definition of pets, agreeing with the Planning Commission that pigs are livestock.Button was told that pigs are big, smelly and aggressive, a description she rejects. Miniature potbellied pigs are no bigger than a medium-size dog, and they are not at all aggressive, she said.

"I've been raising these little guys for years, and they are perfect gentlemen. I've never known one to bite."

Button, who had three little pigs when she first asked the county to change its pet ordinance, recently adopted a fourth, Margaret, whom she found at the animal shelter.

Margaret had been painted white, abused and abandoned, Button said. "If any pig had a reason to hate man, she would, but she doesn't. She is a very sweet little thing. She snuggles near me and follows me around the yard. She's healthy and happy." According to Button, her neighbors have never complained about the pigs. In fact, she said, they have come to their defense. For example, one of her neighbors wrote a letter to legislators last year asking them to change the state law.

"We feel they make our neighborhood a more enjoyable place. . . . They are in no way noisy or dirty," the neighbor wrote.

Noting that Pocatello recently changed its law to allow potbellied pigs as pets, Button expressed confidence that perceptions about the animals are beginning to change. In the meantime, she intends to continue her fight, recognizing that the county could attempt to take her "little pals" away from her.

"I hope they won't do that," she said. "It's just not fair."