Brandermill support for Tucker the pig vastly outnumbered opposition

Posted at 10:35 PM, Nov 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-19 23:57:49-05

CHESTERFIELD, Va. -- Most people had hoped that a Chesterfield family’s fight to keep their beloved house pet Tucker the pig would come to an end on Wednesday, at a Chesterfield Board of Supervisor's meeting.

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

Earlier this year CBS 6 told you the Brandermill neighborhood where Tucker lives isn't zoned for livestock. Neighbors were concerned about property values and complained of the pet pig, back in June.

“We got him at seven weeks,” Kim 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.

The family was heartsick over the news that they might have to give him up -- or move even.

“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.

Then the family chose recenlty to register Tucker as an emotional support animal.

Tucker's new registration certificate, protected by regulation, indicates that the neighborhood must make a reasonable accommodation to allow the pig.

"This was a real tough thing to come out with, but we felt we were forced to do so to protect our family," the Johnson's wrote in a statement.  "We always were upfront with most of the reasons we adopted Tucker into our family, but as every family does, we have some other reasons Tucker was a good choice for our family that we wanted to keep private."

With this new title, Tucker will have protection under Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act, the family wrote on their Facebook page.

Then at the meeting, with national camera crews present, the Board of Supervisors decided to postpone a vote about Tucker the pig until January 14 at 3 p.m.

There will not be another public hearing about the issue, they will just make a decision.

The boardmember Art Warren said he needed more time to think and to learn about pet pigs and livestock.

He also said he didn't want to kick the family out of their home during the holidays, so he felt January 14 would be a good time to make the decision.

Now Tucker's owners said they laid it all out there tonight at the public hearing.

Mark Johnson told the board that that he suffers from an anxiety disorder and Tucker helps him cope.

He said he's glad he won't have to talk about that again since there won't be another public hearing.

But he hopes his words had an impact.

"It's moving forward better than a denial, I wish you got approved I wish it could be over with it but let's see what we can do," there were four people at the meeting who spoke up against allowing Tucker.

One man lives two doors down from the Johnsons and said he didn't like seeing a pig in his neighborhood when he drove past.

There were nearly 20 people who spoke in favor and four who spoke aginst.