Eli the pig’s owner ‘hopeful’ after Strathmore family wins fight to keep pet pig

WATCH ABOVE: The courts have ruled that a Strathcona County family must give up their beloved pet pig Eli, which is classified as livestock, not as a pet. The Kropp family explains the dilemma on our Morning News.

EDMONTON — A Sherwood Park family who was fined this week for housing a pot-bellied pig is finding comfort in Strathmore’s Dahl family.

On Thursday, the Dahls learned they would get to keep their pet pig in their home thanks to a town bylaw amendment.

Michelle Kropp of Sherwood Park would like Strathcona County to make a similar bylaw amendment for her four-year-old pet pig Eli. But on Monday, Kropp’s months-long battle suffered a setback.

She was found guilty of harbouring livestock — a category Kropp says Eli does not belong to.

“Every dictionary says [livestock] is an animal used for harvesting something from. Eli, the only thing that we get from him…is love and cuddles,” said Kropp.
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Kropp argues Eli is a trained therapy animal who is part of the family.

READ MORE: ‘We don’t understand why he has to go’: Sherwood Park woman on pet pot-bellied big 

She says her family closely followed the case of the Dahls. The two families plan to meet, with the Dahls offering their assistance as Kropp continues her fight.

According to Kropp, she’s been told by her mayor and council that they “absolutely without a doubt do not want to look at this.”

“They’re saying they can’t make changes. But we just saw it done last night. It’s four hours away from us,” she said. “And in Jasper there was a case a year and a half ago where they also got to keep their pot-bellied pig. So I’m hopeful.”

Meanwhile, county officials have applied for an order from the Court of Queen’s Bench. Under that order, Eli could be removed from the home as early as February.

The County also issued the following statement following Monday’s ruling:

“In light of today’s decision, Strathcona County continues to be hopeful the pot-belly pig’s owner will choose to voluntarily relocate the pig to meet the bylaw requirements. If the pig is not voluntarily relocated, Strathcona County will proceed with its application to the Court of Queen’s Bench for an Order requiring the pig to be relocated. The Court of Queen’s Bench hearing is expected to occur in early 2015.”

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A petition in support of Eli the pig staying at home has gained more than 15,000 supporters. A Save Eli the Pot Belly Pig Facebook group also has more than 1,800 members.

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