Chesterfield family fights to keep beloved pet KuneKune pig

Posted at 7:27 PM, Sep 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-20 15:07:14-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A family is involved in a fight against Chesterfield County over their beloved four-legged friend.

The dispute came about because the Johnson family lives in Brandermill, which is zoned as a residential area.

Almost two years ago, the family acquired their pet, a KuneKune pig they named “Tucker,” which lives inside their home.

However, the county came knocking in June after they received a complaint. They told the family that “Tucker” the pig has to go.


There's no mistaking this family's pet is a pig -- all 150 pounds and when you ask the Johnson family about "Tucker."

"Our whole thing is he is a pet, just like someone's dog," Kim Johnson argued.

Johnson said the 150-pound pig he is an "indoor pet" and that she was able to get him house broken in just three days. In fact, she said the pig "doesn't have any house out back that he stays in."


But "Tucker" wasn't always quite so large.

"We got him at seven weeks," Johnson said. At that point she said he weighed just five pounds, which was just 22 months ago.

Tucker grew in size and the family and neighbors grew to love him, according to Johnson.

However, not everyone must have been a fan. That's because someone filed a complaint with the county, who told the family they had ten days to get rid of "Tucker" because of a zoning issue.

The family was heartsick over the news.

"My 8-year-old son was very upset and crying and what do you mean we have 10 days to get rid of him," Johnson said.

And one of the Johnson's neighbors said she loves "Tucker" too.

"He's very friendly, he actually plays with my chihuahua,"  Kelly Hunter said.

Another Chesterfield pig owner, who spoke to CBS 6 News senior reporter Wayne Covil on the condition of anonymity, said having a pig is no different than a cat or dog.

"It's a pet, it's no different than having a 150 pound dog," the man said. "I have two dogs, two cats, two pigs. And pigs are the smartest by far. They're the most affectionate by far, best pets I've ever had."

As a result, the family and neighbors are fighting for a conditional use permit so "Tucker" can stay at the Brandermill home.

The first meeting is set for Sept. 30. Then the there will be a public hearing on Oct. 21. A final decision will be made on Nov. 19.

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