There are a few laws that affect pet pigs and you may have heard of some of them, but likely were not thinking outside the box to realize there are several more that may apply. You don't have to be a professor at a big University that teaches law to know that you have rules and regulations, as well as laws, if applicable. We have selected a few laws that may apply to you when you have an unconventional pet, such as a pet pig.
1. Wills and Estates Law
There was a case in NY several years back about a dog and the dog parent leaving ALL of her estate to the dog. Although contested, the family was quite shocked to find out that her will was legal and enforceable. The family contested, of course, and although they did win a portion, the bulk of her estate did, in fact, go to her dog. (If I am remembering all the facts correctly). This is an issue for a number of reasons...First, be sure to include your pig in any last will and testament you may have on file, including designation to who will care for your pig once you are no longer here to do so yourself. If you have assets, leave financial support for the care of your beloved porcine friend. Second part is to keep this document updated. It will do no good to name someone who is no longer with us. This is important for anyone who has a pet pig, but probably more-so for the rescue community who have large numbers of pigs that will need to be cared for long after they're gone. Always have back up plans for back up plans.
2. Travel Laws
We have said it before and now saying it again, you MUST check with the state you are traveling into to see what laws/regulations are in effect for pigs in that state. Some states require visible identification, some require blood tests such as brucellosis and pseudorabies before they will permit a pig to cross the state lines, others may simply require a CVI (certificate of veterinary inspection) also referred to as a health certificate. Whatever the regulations are, be sure you follow them. Click here to be directed to the USDA travel guidelines. The reason for these rules and regulations is actually to protect YOUR pig as well as other pigs from disease that can be carried over by an infected pig. This is also why the penalties are so steep for violations of these rules.
3. Zoning Restrictions
Each state is different in their ordinances regarding keeping pigs within city limits. Each county may have conflicting ordinances within the same state, but you MUST follow YOUR city/county/town ordinance. Many people have waged wars with their cities to try and have the ordinance amended to allow pigs to reside within the city limits. Some people have successfully had the ordinance changed or amended and some have not been successful. It is not worth the fight if you can find out beforehand or try and have the ordinance changed BEFORE you add a pig to your family. There is a lot of disappointment and heartbreak when you get a pig, find out the city doesn't allow pigs in the city and then have to find a new home for your beloved pet. Click here to read more about how to check and see if you're zoned to have a pig and also how you can work to change the city ordinance. All it takes is one jerk person to call and "report" you in order to get the wheels of justice moving. Do not get a pig if you have to hide it. That isn't good for you, your family or your pig.
HOA (homeowners associations) can also impact whether or not you are "allowed" to have a pig. Do not sign HOA paperwork that isn't clear on what is traditional and what is not. Sometimes the wording doesn't include or exclude pigs, but you need to be sure of what is included so you can avoid a court case to try and fight to keep your pig.
4. Divorce Law
Pigs are like our children and we will fight to protect them as such. If there are 2 loving pig parents and the possibility y'all will not live happily ever after, try to come to some kind of agreement prior to the nastiness of a divorce to determine who will retain custody of the pig(s). Pets have been included in prenuptial agreements in the past, although typically this refers to cats and dogs, we are pig people, so we encourage you to take in consideration your pigs thoughts and feelings too. Of course, neither kids nor pets can be split into pieces and distributed between the disagreeing parties to a divorce. Therefore, judges are being presented with, and many are approving, shared animal custody or visitation rights for husbands and wives, domestic partners and even roommates when they are faced with pet custody disputes.
5. Corporate Law
It can be big local news when a farmer is caught neglecting or abusing his farm animals. The local humane organizations and the animal control officer might show up and take the cattle, horses or sheep to a rehabilitator or foster home, but there usually isn’t a great deal of money involved. The situation is different, however, when some Fortune 500 company is accused of the same — that’s national news.
At one time, virtually no one had the resources to challenge a big company such as a billion-dollar, publicly held fast-food chain if one of these companies was caught treating food animals in an inhumane way. But now, very well-funded humane organizations and animal rights groups are pursuing (and winning) animal cruelty cases against these very large defendants.
And now that big-money cases and large potential jury awards have begun to revolve around animals, you can be sure that corporate attorneys are generally paying much closer attention to the precise meaning of animal-protection legislation. They want to know every nuance of these laws’ applicability to the millions of food animals under the control of their corporate clients. We see this mainly in the farming community, but there has been abuse/neglect/fraud in the pet pig world too.
6. Bailment Law
This is a legal concept that basically means that when the property of another person is placed in your hands, you have a duty to care for it and return it to its owner undamaged. For example, a "bailment" is created when a valet parks your car or when you check your luggage at the airline counter.
So, in the world of animals, what happens when Mr. Smith drops piggyy off to be groomed one morning at the local pet groomer and Mrs. Smith picks piggy up in the afternoon? There was never a problem when this happened for piggy’s first few grooming appointments.
This time, though, the pet groomer had no idea that the Smiths have become legally separated. Imagine the horror when Mr. Smith comes in to collect piggy and his pet is no longer there! The grooming business owner might not care that the Smiths are tied up in a terrible legal battle. What she should be concerned about is if she doesn’t carry bailment insurance and now has to defend herself and her business in a lawsuit lodged by Mr. Smith for his “suffering and anguish” attributable to her having relinquished his property - piggy - to someone not authorized to possess the pig. Same thing applies to boarding an animal. When you drop off your pig to be boarded for a week, you expect to return to a healthy and happy pig, what happens if thats not the case? What happens if your boarding facility neglects your pig resulting in your pigs death? They are liable.
7. Personal Injury Law
You may have the Best. Pig. Ever. BUT, if your pig is at a community event and gets agitated because some kid keeps putting their hands in its' face, your pig may headswipe or even bite...are you responsible? Of course you are.
First, be sure your pig is vaccinated against any disease that can be passed via an animal bite, like rabies to lessen the chances of something bad happening to your pig because of an accidental or even purposeful bite. Second, if your pig tends to bite, do NOT do community events! Do not set your pig up for failure by placing him/her in an environment with a lot of people if your pig is socially standoffish. Third, do stand there with your animal and remove your pig from the premises if you can see your pig is frustrated. Place signs on your pigs area cautioning people that your pig will bite if provoked. Do NOT let young children handle your pig without you being present or literally holding the pig while they gently pet the back or leg while your have a firm grip.
However, again, if your pig is not trained and socially inept, do NOT take your pig to events like "kiss the pig" or similar situations where your pig is expected to preform a service or act in a certain way for an audience. If your pig is not used to dealing with the public and seems a bit skittish, you will need to work more with your pig before having expectations of your pig being in the spotlight and being successful.
8. Property Damage
If you are a renter, this may be applicable to you. ALWAYS take pictures and do an inspection before you move in noting any areas of concern. Be sure your landlord knows you have a pig and you have written permission to have a pet pig in a rental home. There may be preexisting damage that your pig didn't do, that you are being blamed for. Pigs dig, pigs root, pigs will tear up walls and floors. Pigs will accidentally break doors where food is stored. Pigs will accidentally remove flooring when they're bored. Just know these things can happen with a pet pig and if you're visiting someone or renting a home, you may be on the line for damages as a result of your pig being in that home.
Always keep an eye on your pig in unfamiliar areas and provide enrichment to bored pigs. This will lessen the chances of destruction caused by YOUR pig and hopefully, in turn, reduce your liability in regards to damage that could be caused by your pig. Always do a routine inspection of the area inside and outside of your house to easily identify possible toxins and removal of these potentially hazardous items from your pigs environment. See our blog from last week that discusses bored pig problems and solutions by clicking here.
We’ve just touched on a few of the basic areas where animals impact the law and vice versa, but there are many others. The message here is that, in a legal sense, owning, caring for or even just interacting with animals has become increasingly complicated in recent years. It pays to be aware of the laws and what your risks and rights are depending on your role and always err on the side of caution when it comes to you and your pig. Always know what the laws are in YOUR area, protect your pig.
7/4/2017 02:01:44 am
11/29/2019 01:45:25 pm
10/22/2020 09:24:07 am
i love you
3/9/2017 06:58:58 pm
I've never owned a pet pig, but I still had no idea that there were so many laws tied to owning one. I can understand why though, especially since it is an unusual pet to have. I can definitely see why you'd want to check state laws when you're traveling as well. After all, you want to make sure that you're allowed to have your pet where you travel.
7/28/2018 05:24:21 am
I found out the hard way. I lived in the Dfw area and I had my pig five years. Moved to s small country town and they allowed her at first but it only took one person to get upset and she had to be removed from the property. The same property she never left or bothered anyone. Her area was picked up everyday. It’s amazing how I moved from Arlington to the small town of Gun Barrel City and they have more of a problem then the big city.
4/17/2017 12:41:20 pm
I'm a new pig owner and I used to bake cakes to sell, out of curiosity I was wondering where I'd stand if I were to start selling cakes again with regards to now keeping a pet pig as someone told me I wouldn't be allowed... any info would be great.
Mini pig info
6/4/2017 07:03:56 am
I don't know why you wouldn't be able to sell cakes that you bake. Although, I'm not sure if regulations with regards to keeping inside pets and cooking foods to sell. I assume there are rules about this, but you'll have to check with your city's laws/business license about food preparation and pets. I honestly have no idea about that one.
5/25/2017 11:31:17 am
Who would want one of these fat, ugly beasts for a pet? These are farm animals that are raised for food consumption. And they stink to high hell. I'm glad these are no pigs in the locality where I live. And when I rent my condo out again, these beasts will NOT be allowed as pets!
6/4/2017 02:50:50 am
@SANDEANA you obviously don't know what your talking about you sound stupid as fuck!!!
Pig owner x2
10/15/2017 06:49:25 am
@sandeana.. simply put, you dont know shit.
11/23/2018 06:45:42 pm
For someone saying pigs don't stink you are sure sounding like a god damn retarded bitch!!!! POT BELLY PIGS FUCKING STINK YOU GOD DAMN DUMB CUNT I KNOW I HAD A FEW THEN I SHOT THEM BECAUSE THEY FUCKING STUNK AN AN I WANTED BACON!!!!!!!
Mini Pig Info
6/4/2017 07:10:33 am
Unfortunately, we don't always get notifications when someone posts a comment to our blog. I'm sorry you feel that way Sandeana. If you had a pig with a family renting out a condo you own, unless it was a 1st floor condo or there was an elevator, there probably was a mess in your place. It's not that pigs are dirty and/or smelly....but pigs living in areas that require them to walk up or down steps typically have a hard time going outside. This CAN BE problematic for them. If they're not trained to use a litterbox or they're bored because they can't go outside, they can be destructive. But neither of those are the pigs fault. That is 100% the pig PARENTS fault. Pigs don't smell, they don't sweat like other pets or humans. They're actually not dirty,
7/5/2017 11:46:39 am
mini or potbelly pigs are not raised for food they are very clean mine is litter trained and loves to run with my 4 yr old all over the yard ....ITS YOU THE BEAST WE DONT WANT!!!!!!cunt
2/15/2018 05:46:46 am
Awesome comment! Love it 👌
Sandeana is a fat, ugly beast
7/8/2017 11:00:41 am
Shut the fuck up Sandeana. Go eat some more you fat stinky loser.
9/26/2017 09:45:55 pm
SANDEANA. You sound like a very ignorant person. Just because you had a bad experience in your condo, as that is your own fault for letting someone bring the animal into your rental. If you were not aware that the tenants had the pet then that is also your own fault. First of all pigs don't smell any worse than a dog or a cat. Actually I would say cats and dogs sometimes stink worse. Not to mention many dogs eat their own and other animals feces, and I will say I never seen my pig eat poop of any kind. They are not dirty animals, they roll in mud to keep themselves cool because they have no sweat glands. Imagine if you had no sweat glands and no way to keep yourself cool. The truth is pigs are very intelligent animals, there have been several scientific studies to prove that too. My pig is smarter then any dog I ever had. Mine was also litter box trained and would only go to the bathroom in certain areas outside as well. Don't know too many dogs that are easily box trained. Just because many pigs have been raised for food, that does not mean that they are anything less than any other animal. BTW pot belly pigs are usually not used for food. You sound like a complete idiot, so go cry to someone that cares.
2/15/2018 05:45:36 am
Sandeana you are very rude. You don't own a pig and have no right to comment! They are not raised just for food consumption. They are very intelligent, clean animals who deserve love and the right to live. Do your research as you are clearly uneducated. Pigs don't smell and they are more hygienic than cats and dogs.
7/28/2018 05:30:07 am
Apparently you are talking about hogs. My pot belly pig lived inside my house and used a litter box. She was a lot easier to train than a dog. She loves the water and to swim. She know how to get a blanket and a pillow for when I fall out of a wheelchair. She is very intelligent. Plus she will live approximately 18-20. Where a dog won’t.
8/27/2018 08:02:58 pm
You really should research before you speak. My pig who is a house pig is cleaner than any dog I ever had. The don’t sweat so no sneak there she does not shed all the time . Once a year she “blows her coat” in June and then grows back her winter coat over the summer. She never has accidents in the house and she does her business in one spot not all over like my dogs did. Now I had pugs, beagles, and labs. I loved them dearly but getting a pig was the best thing I did. We share her with our community and the kids love her. She is very smart and listens. We live on 250 acres and she is our only animal. I can let her out while I do yard work and she will not leave the yard. When she sees a white truck go by she thinks it’s her dad coming home. People who go in our home cannot believe she sleeps on the couch and the house does not smell. This shocks them the most. She is also very helpful in the kitchen she sweeps the floor of all crumbs she will open the fridge for me if my hands are full and close it. She loves to load the dishwasher and close the door. Before you say ugly stuff about topics know your facts. I would not trade her for nothing.
1/10/2019 08:02:31 pm
You are uninformed !!! 1st pigs DO NOT STINK!!!. Mine are potty trained and are inside PETS. They are just as well behaved as the dogs. If you do not know what you are talking about SHUT UP. Take your closed minded opinions and respond to something you have knowledge of,. This is obviously not your line of expertise.
I bet they are better looking than you and smell a damn site better than you do, and i bet they will soon be allowed in the locality where you live, the only fat ugly beast alive is you, dickhead, so get your head out of your bumcrack and get under that shower cos you need one!
4/14/2019 01:26:09 pm
Your an ugly fat beast who needs to be kept at a farm so suck it lady you priproba smell worse than the pig just by judgeing by your shitty attitude you ignorant uncultured swine
4/14/2019 01:31:32 pm
6/28/2019 05:07:31 am
some pigs are actually extremely clean, friendly and cute. Micro pigs are a great example. And also, you shouldn't judge someone for not having the same opinion as you. In fact, many people own pigs and really enjoy have the company of such a loving, cute, and unique pet.
11/29/2019 02:37:55 pm
They smell better than you.
7/1/2020 10:42:37 pm
Honestly, You dont know Shit about Shit. JUst Shut the fuck up
12/26/2020 11:09:19 pm
I think you are a pig so you are the fat ugly beast and YOU don't have to have a pig for a pet but if others want one as a pet that is for them to decide not you. You have your opinions and we have ours. But what I said before if you are a pig you are sweet and cuddly now leave your opinions to your self
7/9/2017 03:21:34 am
I wish NY allowed us to have piggies up here 😔 I want to move down south, maybe to Texas; I love piggies and I seen them for sale, in a pet store, in the mall ! ♥️ 🐷
9/20/2017 10:56:22 pm
I live in Nashville TN 37207 I'm trying to figure out if I'm allowed to have a pig
Mini Pig Info
9/20/2017 11:35:21 pm
Hi Nika, you will need to go to your city's website and search for specific keywords like pig, swine, livestock, etc to see what their definitions are and then try to determine if potbellied pigs are addressed in their ordinances. Every city is different and within the city, there may be specific county or town ordinances too. This link I'm sharing tells you how to check and see. https://www.minipiginfo.com/mini-pig-zoning-ordinances.html
7/28/2018 05:33:27 am
Contact the city you live in.
1/30/2018 06:35:22 pm
My wife is handicapped. We have a Pot Belly Pig that is my Wife Emotional Support Animal. The City is saying its against city ordinance to have a pig and she must be removed. Is there any law to protect a person and their service animal when it is a pig?
Mini Pig Info
1/30/2018 07:23:31 pm
Hi David! Unfortunately, zoning restrictions are entirely different for every single city and emotional support animals only have a few benefits. A “service” animal can only be a dog and in some cases, a miniature horse, have basically the same rights as humans. Service animals are working animals. Emotional support animals provide support. However, you can certainly petition the city council to try and have that ordinance amended to allow pigs. For your particular situation, involving the media may actually be useful since your wife has a physical handicap and your pet pig helps her in ways similar to a service animal would. A service animal isn’t a “pet” though. And since mini pigs cannot be called service animals, those rules that apply to service animals do not apply to emotional support animals. I am sharing 2 links with you. One is the differences between ESA pets, therapy animals and service animals. The second link is about changing city ordinances and how to go about starting that process.
2/22/2018 11:12:40 am
6/6/2018 03:05:59 pm
i don't have a pig, but nice to know!
7/26/2019 04:35:35 pm
Does anyone know if pigs are allowed as house pets in Florida?
Jimbo Jacobs III
1/7/2020 10:35:43 pm
Piggies are awesome!!! I just got done with my guys first tusk trim. Ok i was able to do one side in two days of trying, he gets annoyed easy. Well he ate the freaking piece of tusk!! I was gonna save it with the only baby tooth he didn't eat. Really hes a good house pig. Doesn't tear up much. Pretty clean and demands his litter box be changed daily. I wanted to do every other day, he says every day. He won. Sleeps on the bed and everything. Y'all are missing out. Well if you are fine with a 250lbs pig charging ya now and then, then a pigs for you. I don't care How big and bad he gets, i always get my piggie kisses. Great guard hogs for the house if you train them right. People are scared to heck of my baby little tiny 250lbs porky butt.
10/22/2020 09:24:49 am
12/26/2020 11:05:23 pm
I live in Preston Idaho and I want a little teacup pig and I was wondering if it was legal to get my Pebbles.
6/7/2022 12:51:17 pm
The local humane organizations and the animal control officer might show up and take the cattle, horses or sheep to a rehabilitator Thank you for sharing your great post!
6/7/2022 01:10:43 pm
Of course neither kids nor pets can be split into pieces and distributed between the disagreeing parties to a divorce. Thank you for taking the time to write a great post!
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