Family fights to keep pig they say is therapy pet

Family fights to keep pig they say is therapy pet

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A couple in Coral Springs is fighting to keep a pet miniature pig which they say has been therapeutic for their 8-year-old son who has Down Syndrome.

Heather Ray said "Twinkie" the pig is the perfect pet, because her husband's allergies aren't aggravated by the animal and it calms her son, Kason.

"He pets her, and he calms down," she said.

A city ordinance does not allow pigs as pets, because they are considered livestock. While officials have not threatened to remove the pig, they could fine the family as much as $500 a day.

Ray told the Sun Sentinel that the family purchased the pig from a farm in Texas for $1,300. It has been suggested that if a medical professional prescribes the pig as a therapy animal, then the Ray family might be protected under federal housings laws.

Earlier this month, following public outcry, the DeBary City Council made a surprise move and allowed a family to keep therapeutic backyard chickens as part of a pilot program.

Dozens of neighbors turned out to support the family and their autistic son at a city council meeting.   In October, the family was cited by code enforcement for keeping chickens in their backyard. But the council has since approved a one-year pilot program allowing up to three backyard chickens with the purchase of a $50 permit. No more than seven permits will be issued.


Information taken from WSVN TV and Sun Sentinel

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