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Trustees Deny Second Request To Keep Pigs

February, 2003

The village of Hinsdale will ask a judge Feb. 18 to order the removal of two Vietnamese potbellied pigs from Dawn McCarthy Brandt's home.

Brandt asked trustees Jan. 21 to reconsider a village code amendment classifying potbellied pigs as pets, not swine. Trustees denied a similar request by Brandt in October.

At Village President George Faulstich's request, village manager Bo Proczko contacted each trustee and found little support for an amendment.

However, trustees voted Tuesday against Trustee William Blomquist's proposal to amend the code so only Brandt's pigs are allowed. The proposal failed, in a 2-4 vote, with Blomquist and Trustee Elizabeth Barrow casting the yes votes.

Brandt begged trustees to allow her to keep what she considers her pets.

"Can't you just let me have my pets?" she said.

Village code prohibits keeping or maintaining cattle, goats, sheep and swine. It doesn't distinguish between types of species.

Faulstich apologized to Brandt.

"It is our job to decide these things, and we made a decision," he said.

When village staff learned of the two potbellied pigs at the Brandt home, they delivered a letter telling her to remove the animal. The village ticketed her last August, but decided not to proceed with prosecution until trustees ruled on her amendment request.

Brandt had a court date of Dec. 24, but since it was a village holiday, that date was continued until Jan. 21. The court hearing was continued again to Tuesday, Feb. 18, at Brandt's request.

The village will be prepared to go to trial on this complaint, said public services director Dan Schoenberg. That includes asking a judge to order the removal of the pigs from Brandt's home, he added.

Brandt has said she is considering leaving Hinsdale instead of removing the pigs from her home. She wasn't aware that the village prohibits swine when she moved into her home.

By Brian Boyle
Suburban Life

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