Perp-Walk of the Potbellied Pig

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Casually looking at that particularly well-kept home, no one would have guessed that somewhere behind those 2 red and white “NO STANDING” wheel chair signs that framed its walk-up, nor that behind the hedgerow and the white picket fence, nor up the wheelchair ramp and past the 6 flat plastic Easter eggs that hung from it — each with a single letter on it that spelled out the word “spring,” and each hung in succession beneath an egg with the picture of a white bunny on it , that, until Tuesday, was also the home of two little piggies.
No one would have guessed anything unusual about the home at all; that is, until they saw Niagara Falls Police Department animal protection officer Dave Bower arriving in his official pound wagon with an entourage that included a DPPW truck, another vehicle and a pickup truck that towed behind it a horse trailer on the streets of the city.
But unlike the legendary big bad wolf of storybook lore, the wolf that once came to blow down the 2nd Little Piggy’s wooden house, Bowers’ entourage blew into the yard of that fine-looking home, instead, to rescue those little piggies, all because one of the little piggies wasn’t so little anymore. In fact, Snorkle, the name of a 200-plus pound potbellied pig, had gotten too big for its owner to handle anymore.  The smaller, highly-trained pig was not yet much of a handful for Bower to carry to the trailer in the alley, but the officer said that eventually it would have grown to be like the behemoth that was more of a challenge to lure into the trailer for rescue.
Bower, with search warrant in hand, said that he became aware when a woman had called and said that there was an aggressive large pig at the residence. He said that the owner then took him into the back yard and the pig showed no aggression. Though it was not aggressive, it was indeed difficult for Bower, Nina from DPPW, Jeanette Miller, Dave West and another woman to lure the hulking hog up the ramp and into the trailer that had been moved into the alley.
Terry Felvus, the owner of the 2 pigs, said that he was okay with Snorkle being taken away. He said that he chose pigs because he had heard that they were pretty good house pets, and he had several friends who had them. “Snorkle just got too big to be in the house,” he said. “I couldn’t lift him anymore. And then we got the little one for a house pet, and the little one’s been working fine. Litter box-trained, comes when called, and everything. It’s got its own doggy bed, knocks on the door when it wants to come in. Trained pretty well, and so.”
Felvus said that what remain are a cat, a dog and 3 rabbits, and all of the animals had gotten along well with each other. He said that it was his fiancé of 2 and a half years who wanted the pigs.  Already sounding sad at the loss of his pets, he added even more sadness by saying, “… but she’s gone.”
And so, now are the pigs.
Felvus also said that that one of the reasons why Snorkle, the male porker, became aggressive was because Libby, the little pig, was a female and he started to sense that.
Bower said that it took him about a week to find Newfane property owners and animal rescuers Miller and Hunt. They own the Eclectic Farmstead. In addition to rescues, they use a method called ‘raised-bed perma-culture’ to grow vegetables for food and feed. West said he’s done some 250 rescues that included lizards, snakes, frogs, you name it. “Stuff that people get their kids in pet stores and then they [kids] don’t want it anymore. And then they’re [parents] trying to find a home for it – that’s me,” he said.
For West and Miller, the pigs will become farm pets. Felvus sadly said that he was glad Snorkle would have a place where he could run around; whereas he was pretty much kept caged at his house. But Bower warns that city ordinance #701.02 prohibits any kind of livestock in the city, especially in residential areas.
Felvus was very helpful during the pigs’ perp walk to the trailer. But like most longtime pet owners, it was clear that he would very much miss his animals as well.  Bower loves animals too, and said that, “The city is no place for a pig, or a goat, or anything of that nature.”
He’s right.

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