Alberta family has to give up pet potbellied pig

A family in Sherwood Park, Alta., has to give up their pet potbellied pig named Eli because county law doesn’t allow livestock to be kept inside homes.

Keeping livestock in a house runs afoul of Strathcona County bylaw

Eli the potbellied pig lives with Michelle Kropp and her family in Sherwood Park, Alta. (CBC )

A family in Sherwood Park, Alta., has to give up its pet potbellied pig named Eli because county law doesn’t allow livestock to be kept inside homes.

Bylaw officials with Strathcona County, the municipality east of Edmonton that includes Sherwood Park, were alerted about Eli after a neighbour called to complain.

"She said that she feels her property has decreased in value $20,000 because she lives next to a pig,” said owner Michelle Kropp.

Owner Michelle Kropp says her stepdaughters are upset at the prospect of losing their family pet. (CBC )

Unlike Edmonton and Calgary, in Strathcona County, special permits cannot be given for potbellied pets under county bylaws.

Ian Gray, director of transportation and agriculture services with Strathcona County, says council would have to change the bylaw.

"The owner of the pig has a decision to make," he said.

Kropp said bylaw officers will be coming to her home on June 12 to take Eli away. 

What other pigs do you know that can curl up and watch YouTube videos? — Jayme Granberg, 10

That decision will be heartbreaking for Kropp’s two stepdaughters, Maggie, 7, and Jayme, 10.

Eli lives in a cage inside the house. He wakes the family every morning at 6:45 a.m. and likes to hang out with them.

"What other pigs do you know that can curl up and watch YouTube videos?" Jayme Granberg asked.

The children are upset about losing Eli and worry how their pet would handle a move.

"He'll be like, 'Where's my family?'" Maggie Granberg said.

Meanwhile, another neighbour has started a petition to let the family keep Eli at their home.

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