Pet pigs in jeopardy after Eureka Springs city council enforces livestock law

EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. - Just last year Marilyn Sloas thought her pet pigs were safe from eviction. She has had Fat Boy for more than a year and Miss Piggy for more than five.

"When I got Miss Piggy, I didn't look at her as a pot-bellied pig. I looked at her as a soul, and that's what it comes down to is that they're a soul," Sloas said.

Last year Eureka Springs city council planned to allow current owners of miniature pigs to keep them in the city limits until 2030.

But that plan has changed.

"We have been accused by a couple members of the new council that we're changing the law for one house. This is not true. We are keeping the livestock law intact while grandfathering two innocent pet pot bellies," said Mickey Schneider, a councilwoman.

Instead the city council recently voted 4-2 to enforce the city's 1952 livestock ordinance, which bans swine from the city.

"Livestock is livestock. Pot-bellied pigs, American mini pigs whatever you want to call them," said Terry McClung, a councilman.

Even though some city council members want the pigs gone, Sloas said visitors come every single day to visit Fat Boy and Miss Piggy.

"We have so many tourists that come to town and they're like 'Well where are the famous pigs?'" Sloas said.

Even her neighbor who owns the Red Bud Manor Inn next door said his guests go to see them.

"Never had a problem roaming around, smell-wise or anything else. Pretty much just like any other pet," Paul Miller, the owner, said.

But some city council members said that doesn't matter, the law is the law.

McClung said he wouldn't change his mind if he met the pigs.

He said there should be no exceptions to the ordinance.

"If you approve them, then you have to consider goats, sheep, small horses. Where does it end really?" McClung asked.

And Marilyn wonders the same thing.

"What's going to be next? Somebody else's dogs?" Sloas asked.

As far as what Sloas will do if she's forced to follow the ordinance, she said she'll cross that bridge when she gets to it.

The 1952 livestock ordinance states any person who violates it is guilty of a misdemeanor. If they're found guilty they could pay a fine of $5-to-100 for the first offense and $250 every day after.