Weslaco Woman Fighting to Keep Pet Pig on Property

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WESLACO – Mix a pig, a city, and a homeowners association - you get conflict. A Weslaco mother is fighting to save Winston, her pet pig. 

A year and a half ago, Charla Layne purchased the pet she claims to be three-quarters Kunekune pig and one-quarter Potbelly pig. She said Winston weighs 250 pounds and he mingles with the family’s many dogs.

She said he has grown to a point where she has to keep him outside. Now, she is worried he will have to be off her property.

Layne said the neighborhood embraced this massive animal. Her family even set up a social media page for Winston.

"We've never had a complaint. Our neighbors have seen him. They know of him. When he was smaller, he would walk around the front yard,” she told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

Layne said she received a call from the Midpoint Homeowner's Association two days ago. She was told Winston wasn't welcome in her neighborhood.

"They told us that we, per city ordinance, we had to get rid of him immediately," she added.

Layne said she fears for Winston's fate in the hands of a new owner. He might be thought of as livestock and be slaughtered.

She said she appealed to the city of Weslaco to keep the animal on her property as a pet, based on language in the city ordinance. 

"Pet animal shall include dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, birds, reptiles, and any other species of animal which is sold or retained as a household pet," she said.

Weslaco health official Joe Pedraza said Layne is violating another ordinance. He said he will enforce an ordinance stating, "It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any hog or pig within the city limits at any time."

Pedraza explained the city will take steps to make sure she is staying within legal boundaries. 

"Animal control will go talk to her. If she refuses to move it, then at that time she will get a citation. And then, after that, she has X amount of days to appear in court. If she doesn't appear in court, then after that the guys will file a notice of violation with the court and she will be summonsed to go to court and then appeal it at that point," he said.

Pedraza added if Layne appeals and a city judge rules the animal must go, she will accumulate fines every day.

Layne said she realizes she will probably have to look for a new owner for Winston outside Weslaco.  She said this is hard for her family to accept. 

James Arthur, a spokesperson for the Midpoint Homeowner's Association, told CHANNEL 5 NEWS he hopes the family finds a good home for the pig. 


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