SAN ANTONIO – Another pig is in the pen, and neither she nor Animal Care Services officials are too happy about it.
"Hamantha" was picked up from a neighborhood Wednesday off Old Guilbeau Road, where police and a neighbor were able to get the pig into a yard for ACS Officer Bethany Snowden to pick up.
"Based on the demeanor of the pig -- it was roaming in the area -- more than likely it was a pet pig, which is illegal inside San Antonio city limits," Snowden said.
While having pigs as pets may be illegal, it doesn't appear to be uncommon.
ACS manager Aimee DeContreras said Hamantha is the third loose pig the agency has picked up in a week, following "Tony Porker" and "Albert Einswine."
"We've actually been getting more calls than that, and what we're finding out in the field is that people actually have them as pets," DeContreras said.
Whether they're kept as pets or livestock, in the city's eyes, a pig is a pig, and pigs are prohibited.
Although they can be small and cute, pigs can do a lot of damage rooting around, and even a pot belly pig can grow to more than 100 pounds.
"They're cute when they're young, but they grow and they eat a lot, and they get bigger and bigger, and keeping them in back yards as pets is just not ideal," DeContreras said. "They need to be in a farm environment so that they can root and they can wallow in the mud and where they won't be a nuisance to neighbors and stuff like that."
Having a pig as a pet can earn owners a hefty fine if someone squeals on them.
A citation can run up to $300 if the owner doesn't comply, and a second offense could mean a misdemeanor charge, which comes with a criminal record and a larger fine.