Outlaw potbelly pig spared frying pan; gets life on farm
Updated 4:44 pm, Friday, April 17, 2015
By Fausto Giovanny Pinto
BRIDGEPORT -- When Pierre Guertin awoke Saturday morning and peered through the front window of his North End home, he saw something strange rooting around.
"What is a pig doing in my front yard?" Guertin said.
Although the North End is one of the more suburban parts of Bridgeport, livestock are not known to call the area home. Guertin called a neighbor, and the two were able to corral the 50- to 60-pound potbelly in a crate.
Guertin said he fed the animal a leftover TV dinner and some bread while waiting for Bridgeport Animal Control personnel.
"She was friendly as can be," said Guertin, who makes his living as a musician. "We were all scratching, touching and petting her." The animal was held while the animal control personnel tried to find its owner. A post on the Bridgeport Animal Control Facebook page about the pig received hundreds of likes and comments -- divided between those who wanted to adopt the pig or eat it -- or perhaps both.
Chief Animal Control Officer Gina Gambino said she has worked with snakes, horses and even beached seals, but the pig was a first. Fortunately, Stratford Animal Control, which recently dealt with a pig problem, was there to help with advice on care. Some people stopped by the shelter on Evergreen Street to drop off food for the potbelly.
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The unidentified owner had Lolita as a pet for two months. The pig fled Friday night when the owner let her dogs out for a walk, according to Gambino.
"There is a lot of interest in owning potbelly pigs for the company," said Gambino. "They are traditionally used as pets." The pig owner was made aware of an ordinance that bans pigs in Bridgeport: "No person shall keep any swine within one hundred feet of any house, schoolhouse, church, street or park." With the help of the city and the state, however, the owner was able to sign over Lolita, who officials say will soon be transferred to a state-run farm in Niantic. There, she is to live out the rest of her days with no worry of ending up on someone's plate.
On Thursday, Lolita wagged her tail for one visitor. As she waited to head to her new digs, many dogs in the shelter -- including one named Ms. Piggy -- were ready for homes of their own.