LINWOOD, Kan. (WDAF) – A resident of Linwood is facing possible jail time because she refuses to give up one of her pets.
Bailey Parker said it’s hogwash what the city is doing and plans to fight for her pet pot-bellied pig “The Dude.”
The Dude lives along with his brothers and sisters that consist of dogs, cats, chickens and ducks, not to mention Parker’s two children.
“We have become attached to him, and once you’re a Parker you’re always a Parker,” she said. “The way we’ve always said it, you know? And we’re teaching our kids animal husbandry to care about one another and you stand up for what’s right.”
Parker, who is a veterinary technician and the former animal control officer in Linwood, rescued The Dude from a bad situation. A few months later, Parker received a letter from the city that it is not cool for The Dude to live there.
The city of Linwood filed a criminal complaint against Parker who has been charged with possessing a pig within the city limits, punishable by a fine and 180 days in jail.
City Attorney Katie Barnett told FOX4 that Parker is in violation of the Keeping of Pet Animals Other Than Dogs and Cats ordinance, which governs dangerous animals and species limitation of house pets. Nowhere does it mention pot-bellied pigs as either, said Jungle Law partner Tristen Woods.
“All the surrounding counties allow pot-bellied pigs. There are some exceptions, specifically stating you are allowed to have a pot-bellied pig that’s not deemed livestock,” Woods said. “So we brought that up to the mayor, and he said no we can`t do that it would be problematic.”
Parker’s supporters “pig-iting” before Monday night’s court hearing, where the judge dropped the charges against her. Only to be re-filed by Barnett shortly after. The new case is now set for March 23.
“I would just like a permit just for me just to be able, and charge me an annual registration fee like you do with my dogs my cats,” Parker said. “We follow the rules around here.”
Linwood Mayor Brian Christenson was unavailable for comment, directing us to the city attorney who sent this statement:
The City of Linwood is committed to providing a safe and humane community to the residents of Linwood. Ms. Parker has been cited for violating Section 2-113 of the city code that limits pet ownership to dogs, cats, and small handheld mammals. The City appreciates that Ms. Parker would like to keep her pig, and when given the opportunity, she requested the City consider amending this section of the city code to allow pigs to reside within the city. City Council heard and deliberated the request, and ultimately declined to amend the ordinance to allow the keeping of pigs. Ms. Parker is continuing to violate the city code by keeping her pig in the city limits. The City, however, is choosing not to impound the pig leading up to the trial and is letting the pig stay at home with Ms. Parker and her family to minimize the impact this has on everyone involved. Ms. Parker requested a trial, where the City is confident a judge will find the enforcement of the ordinance to be fair and appropriate. We hope between now and her trial, Ms. Parker can find a loving home for the pig in a neighboring city where pigs are legal.
The Linwood City Codes can be found here.
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