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Hinsdale Woman Makes Another Plea To Keep Pigs

January 29, 2003

Two neighbors of a Hinsdale woman who is keeping a pair of pigs as pets told the Hinsdale Village Board they don't have a problem with the swine and urged the board to back off its stance that the pigs need to go.

Dawn McCarthy Brandt approached village trustees Jan. 21 for the second time in an attempt to make her case to keep two Vietnamese potbelly pigs as pets.

"They are highly intelligent and very sensitive," Brandt said of her pigs.

She again asked the Village Board to change village ordinances and allow her to keep the pigs.

The village has ordered Brandt to part with her pigs. Legal proceeding are under way.

Brandt's problems began last summer, after a neighbor reported to village officials that she had seen a pig in the yard at 129 S Adams St. Officials later learned Brandt had two potbelly pigs, Cza Cza and Petunia.

Since 1974, there's been a law prohibiting residents from keeping swine, cattle, sheep or goats. Brandt was cited for the infraction. She hired an attorney to help her seek a change in the law, but, in October, trustees decided to keep the law in place.

Brandt said Cza Cza has been part of her family for more than seven years. Petunia is about 4 years old.

She argues that potbelly pigs aren't classified as swine by the state Department of Agriculture and the animals are pets, not livestock.

At the Jan. 21 meeting, two of Brandt's neighbors spoke in support of the animals, telling trustees they've never been bothered by the pigs. Virginia Walsh said she's lived at 115 S Adams for 45 years and has never had a problem with Brandt's potbelly pigs.

"Nobody wants swine in the village, but I think it's time to update the 35-year-old code," Walsh said.

Village President George Faulstich Jr. said it's unlikely the board will take up the matter since they decided the law was fine in October. He told Brandt he would consider her request and talk with trustees.

Brandt said she is scheduled to appear in court in February to address the village's citation. A guilty finding could result in a $750 fine.

By Melissa Rubalcaba
Suburban Life

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