Montreal

Beloved pet Vietnamese pot-bellied pig in Longueuil may be evicted

A woman from Longueuil will likely have to part ways with her beloved miniature Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, Jack, because of a municipal bylaw.

Pigs such as Jack are considered farm animals, not pets, in Longueuil

Jack, a Vietnamese potbellied pig, is facing eviction from the Longueuil apartment where he lives with his owner. (Christine Lamarre)

A woman from Longueuil will likely have to part ways with her beloved miniature Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, Jack, because of a municipal bylaw.

Christine Lamarre and her boyfriend have been living with Jack in a rented condo for two years without incident.

Some neighbours recently sent Lamarre a lawyer’s letter complaining about the pig.

Christine Lamarre takes a snooze with her beloved pet Jack. (Christine Lamarre)

The city of Longueuil now says unless Lamarre gets rid of Jack by April, she’ll have to leave the apartment or face sanctions under a municipal bylaw.

City spokesperson Jacques Tétreault said pot-bellied pigs are not considered domestic animals in Longueuil.

“The Vietnamese pot-bellied pig is considered a farm animal and can’t be kept outside of an agricultural zone,” he told Radio-Canada. 

Lamarre begs to differ.

“Jack is a nice, quiet animal," she said. "He doesn’t smell and he’s hypoallergenic. In two years, no one has complained directly to us. In fact, most people in the building ask us if they can pet him."

“Jack weighs 80 pounds, just like a medium-sized dog. There are plenty of dogs and cats in the building. We don’t understand."

Can pigs be pets?

The status of Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs as pets in other cities is a bit fuzzy, according to Valérie Larose, a mini-pig breeder in Shefford.

“Longueuil, Trois-Rivières and Granby make our lives difficult. They consider Vietnamese pigs as farm animals,” said Larose.

The status of Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs such as Jack varies from city to city in Quebec. (Christine Lamarre)

But Larose added that the city of Montreal tolerates the pigs as pets, as long as they don’t cause a nuisance.

“These pigs do their business in a litterbox, not like a dog who goes outside and comes back in with wet paws. They’re brilliant, hypoallergenic animals,” said Larose.

Lamarre and her boyfriend have launched a petition on Facebook to try to gain support for keeping Jack. As of Tuesday afternoon they had 883 supporters.

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