Check Your Zoning First!
Yes, you should check with your local zoning board to see if potbellied pigs, or any other exotic pet, are allowed in your community/neighborhood.
There is NOT a listing of which cities/towns are or are not zoned. You will have to go to your local zoning department and check with them. Sometimes this can be done on-line, other times you will have to go in person to check.
If you live where there is a homeowners association you will also need to check with them. Unfortunately many places still do not consider potbellied pigs pets. In many areas they are still considered farm swine (livestock) and are subject to the rules and regulations that cover farm hogs.
Do you rent? If zoned you will still need to check with the owner of the building to see if they will allow potbellied pigs as pets.
So, CHECK YOUR ZONING FIRST!
We have lived way out in the mountains and away from any population centers, we had no problems with zoning. But, there have been many heartbreaking stories of people getting a pet pig, becomming very attatched to it, and then were forced to give it up because of zoning. The breeder, pet store, etc.. should make sure that you are zoned first BEFORE selling you a potbelly pig as a pet.
So again: CHECK YOUR ZONING FIRST!
Contact City Hall and ask for the zoning regulations showing which animals are allowed as pets within city limits. Usually for a couple of dollars, they will be happy to send you a copy. Better yet, you should go down to them and see the ordinance for yourself and get a copy then. It's best to get it in writing so that you will have written back up in the future should you have any problems. Don't just take someone's word for it for the sake of the animal.
If you are not zoned, you have three choices:
- Do not get the pig. Some of the saddest stories we here are of people that had a pig, were not zoned properly, and someone (usually a neighbor) complained and the pig was taken away. Not only is this hard on the human, it is extremely hard on a potbelly. They become very attached and being ripped away from their home can be devastating. Please, do not take this chance!!
- You can move. Yep, this has happened.
- You can try to get your zoning changed. There have been successes around the country, and failures. But, more and more cities and towns are changing their zoning to allow pet pigs. Plus, the licensing fees are another income stream for the local government.
You must do all you can do to try and prove that your pet pig(s) are indeed commonly accepted household pets. Have your pet spayed or neutered. Establish a relationship with a veterinarian. Maintain your pet as a house pet, if at all possible. Most importantly be in compliance with your town's zoning. It is almost impossible to sway towns that want to not recognize potbellied pigs as pets.
Keep copies of a doctor's letter that your pig is maintained as a pet and not livestock, UPPR certificate, and up to date health and neutering information in your pets file. It wouldn't hurt to have some of the facts about potbelly pigs printed to help enlighten people. These informative facts printed on letterhead from the organization are often very helpful in alleviating fears and prejudices regarding pigs as pets.
The information presented within our information and resources section has been collected from what we consider experts and various reputable persons including vets, sanctuary owners, and private pig owners among othsrs. Information shown is the latest available. Although we have had pet pigs for 20 years and consider ourselves quite knowledgeable, we are by no means veterinarians. Any health related information presented below should be checked out with your personal veterinarian.