Hamilton

Sheldon the pig gets to stay in his suburban Hamilton home

Sheldon the pig can now hold his head up high as he struts around the neighbourhood with his owners — the City of Hamilton has granted the pet pot-bellied pig an official licence.

The City of Hamilton has granted a licence to the well-loved pet pot-bellied pig

Sheldon the pig saunters towards the camera with his owner Diane Hines looking on. (Chris Seto/CBC)

Sheldon the pig can now hold his head up high as he struts around the neighbourhood with his owners — the City of Hamilton has granted the pet pot-bellied pig an official licence.

On Monday, pet owner Diane Hines posted on social media that her beloved pet pig, Sheldon, was finally legal. This comes after a back-and-forth battle with the city to prove that Sheldon should be allowed be licensed, even though it went against city bylaws.

Challenging the city's bylaw

In 2011 when Hines and her partner were given the pig from a family member, Sheldon had a number of serious health problems. After spending thousands of dollars and undergoing months of treatment, Sheldon's health finally improved.

But during this time, Hines said she didn't get a licence for her pet. She was too focused on keeping him healthy to think about the licensing process, she said. 

It wasn't until a neighbour complained about Sheldon earlier this month that sent Hines to the city to get a licence for her pig, only to discover she couldn't get one. A 2012 change in city bylaws said only pigs with an existing licence dating back to 2012 could apply for licence renewal. No new licenses for pot-bellied pigs were being granted.

By digging up documents from when Sheldon was a piglet and paying all appropriate fees, Hines was able to show the city why her pig should be allowed to be licensed.

Comments from around the world

Hines recently put together an online petition to raise awareness and possibly change the City of Hamilton bylaws around keeping pot-bellied pigs as pets. The petition has been signed by nearly 1,500 people and has received comments of support from around the world.

Some of the comments are displayed below:

Hines said even with the new licence, she and her partner are still planning on moving out of the city in the not too distant future. She said the main reason for the move is to find a larger piece of land to expand their animal hospice, Lazy Dazy. She and her partner currently run the hospice out of their East Hamilton home.

Chris Seto | @topherseto

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