British Columbia

No pigs in the city: Vernon officials give Layla the boot

'She is my best friend,' says owner of 30-pound miniature pig

Jane Armstrong and Brady Strachan - CBC News

July 21, 2016

A neighbour has complained about noise from Layla the pig and now Vernon city officials have told her owner, Coralee Carrier, that she can no longer keep the pig in the city. (Coralee Carrier)

To Coralee Carrier, 22, of Vernon, Layla, her pet miniature pig, is not a farmyard animal.

"She is my best friend," Carrier told CBC News. "I love her to death."

ADVERTISEMENT

Carrier and Layla go for daily walks around town, and the pig helps Carrier deal with the stress of daily life.

"She's just like a huge part of our family and has been for over a year now," Carrier said

Layla even has a social media profile and has attracted more than 1,000 followers on Instagram.

But city officials aren't as fond of the 30-pound grey pig that has been photographed splashing in Carrier's pink backyard kids' pool.

On Sunday, a bylaw officer knocked on Carrier's door and told her the pig had to go.

Coralee Carrier, 22, of Vernon, bought Layla from an Alberta breeder last year and she's been a companion pet ever since. The city of Vernon has told Carrier that the pig contravenes a city bylaw that doesn't permit farm animals on city property. (Coralee Carrier)

Pigs, no matter how small, are considered farm animals and aren't permitted on residential property, the officer told her.

Pig noise complaint

As well, a neighbour had complained about noise.Carrier was devastated.

"I immediately started crying."

She defended her pet, saying Layla barely makes any noise. "She is the quietest thing. If you pick her up she squeals a bit."

But a Vernon official told CBC that pigs aren't allowed in the city, even if they're described as companion animals.

Farm animals can create odours and noise and grow large, said Clint Kanester, manager of protective services with the City of Vernon..

"A pig, whether they're small pigs or large pigs or whatever, they're still considered farm animals under the bylaw and as such would be required to be on agricultural property as opposed to residential.

Carrier said she plans to appeal the order ordering her to get rid of her pig. She says she will ask city council to exempt Layla from the bylaw. Last year, council granted an exemption to the owner of a pot-bellied pig.

She said she's nervous and scared.

"I'm just going to be so heartbroken if they don't see that she is my baby and not a farm animal."

Meanwhile, Carrier said she's applying to have Kayla certified as a therapy pig because of her calming impact.

A neighbour has complained about noise from Layla the pig and now Vernon city officials have told her owner, Coralee Carrier, that she can no longer keep the pig in the city. (Coralee Carrier)

Start the day smarter
Get the CBC News Morning Brief, the essential news you need delivered to your inbox