CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WTVC) — One Tennessee woman is fighting to keep her pet pot-bellied pig even though her city prohibits swine. Cleveland allows all other farm animals inside the city limits. Nugget is a two-year-old Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. Megan Anderson rescued her when she was just a piglet.
“She wasn’t weaned properly. She came in a cat carrier with some canned vegetables dumped in there,” says Megan. As Nugget grew, Megan and her family learned to care for and nurture the pig. “They are very emotional creatures. If their feelings are hurt, they let you know. If your feelings are hurt they know,” says Megan.
Now, Megan says she is the emotional one after someone with the city told her Nugget had to go. “I saw them next door, and I got a knock at the door and they said that they were taking the pig next door and they heard that I had a pig,” says Megan.
What is allowed? Cows, sheep, horses, mules, goats and chickens – as long as they aren’t running at large. We asked Cleveland City Mayor Kevin Brooks why pigs are singled out. “It has never been allowed,” said Mayor Brooks.
Megan says Nugget is like any other large pet, weighing in around 50 pounds and eating table food like fruit. And she says it’s not just her family that benefits from Nugget.
“I took her to work with me. I work with people with intellectual developmental disabilities, and we took her around to some of the people with Down syndrome and autism and they just loved her,” says Megan. Although right now, Nugget is staying at her friend’s home outside of city limits, Megan hopes to push for change so her pig can come home.
To sign her petition to change the ordinance, click here.