Family fights to keep pet pig in Lake Worth, Florida

Florida Family Fighting to Keep Pet Pig
Florida Family Fighting to Keep Pet Pig

A Lake Worth, Florida, family is battling to keep their pet pig -- Wilbur -- even though the home owners association says he is not welcome! Keeping a pot-bellied pig as a pet could get the owners in deep trouble with their neighbors, WPBF reports.

Cold grapes and warm belly rubs Wilbur is a pretty simple pig, living the good life in Lake Worth. But to Rori Halpern and her family, he's so much more: "He's part of our family just like our children are."

He even helps her two boys cope with emotional issues like adhd and Aspergers. That's how this pig wound up with a title: Animal Assisted Wellness Pig. Halpern explains, "He helps when they're sad or upset or a little hyper."

Even though Wilbur has a sweet disposition some view him as less of a pet and a little more like livestock. Attorney Keith Backer says, "Whether it's livestock or not it's certainly not a cat or a dog ... if this animal were not a service animal it was strictly a pet there's be no question it would be prohibited"

The Cypress Woods homeowners association wants this little piggy out of the community. Despite doctors notes to registration, their attorney says this documentation doesn't amount to much.

"Not everyone who has Aspergers or who has ADHD is rising to the level of handicapped as defined by Florida and federal law," Backer explains.

Attorneys representing the association went reached out to the family's doctors, asking why Wilbur is better suited to support the Halperns than a 'less objectionable' animal.

Halpern responds, "The children made the decision. It's not 'Why not a dog?' It could be, but it's not." And this family wouldn't have it any other way.