CANAJOHARIE, N.Y. – A New York man is fighting village officials in an attempt to keep his 100-pound pot-bellied pig as an emotional support animal.
Wyverne Flatt is embroiled in a legal battle with the Village of Canajoharie over his animal, WTEN reported.
The pig, named Ellie, spends most of her time napping, but Flatt says the pig provides emotional support, the Post-Standard of Syracuse reported.
“She’s always been with me, and I mean she just hangs out,” Flatt told WTEN. “She jumps right up on the couch to watch TV, and she does all this stuff.
“I went through a tough divorce, and I had family members pass away. When I come home from work, you know, she is always ready to hang out and she will sit right there with you.”
Village officials believe the pig does not belong in the community, especially inside a home.
Officials said Ellie is a livestock or farm animal and has given Flatt a Dec. 14 deadline to move the pig out of the village, WTEN reported.
Flatt said that he has been to court 13 times over the past two years to fight for his pig.
“I have gotten shot records from the vet, notes from the doctor, and all the paperwork,” Flatt told the television station. “I’ve done everything they asked me to do, and we just keep going to court.”
Canajoharie Mayor Jeff Baker told WTEN that he could not comment on a pending court case.
According to the New York State Attorney General’s Office, the American Disabilities Act specifically limits service animals to dogs, but the Fair Housing Act has a broader definition allowing any animal to qualify for emotional support, the Post-Standard reported. In 2019, a western New York family unsuccessfully tried to keep a 200-pound pet pig named Pork Chop by claiming it was an emotional support animal, the newspaper reported.
Flatt just wants Ellie to stay with him.
“Her going away from me would be just as detrimental for her as it would be for me,” Flatt told WTEN. “She would be very depressed if I thought this was anyway better for her. I would consider it, but it’s not.”
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