Woman makes final plea to city to keep her pet pigs
OTTERTAIL — It's a bit of a hog headache and the Ottertail City Council isn't used to having a packed house for their meetings.
One woman made a final plea to keep her unorthodox friends in town. Robyn Hagel has potbelly pigs for pets, but a 2007 city ordinance states farm animals aren't allowed in town within 10 acres of land, and city council members decided to stick to the letter of the law.
"I'm really concerned about the residents who will wait for the next violation of this code and it's like you passed it for Robin then you gotta pass it for me," says Ottertail City Council member Ronald Grobeck.
Hagel had one for 15 years, which the city grandfathered in, but the other two came after the law was put in place.
Another issue for her is that they're not farm animals.
"There's a difference between a farm pig and a potbelly pig," Resident Robyn Hagel says.
The problem is the wording of the rule.
"If they agreed that they're not livestock they're pets and companions then the definition is inappropriate," says Hagel's attorney Darrell Carter.
Hagel says the pigs are also they're therapeutic.
"It's my depression, they ease it," she says.
Council members say the pigs have become a safety issue, receiving multiple complaints from neighbors about them in the last few years. They purposed she move to a bigger area with them nearby.
She now has 30 days to find a new home for her loved ones, facing $1,000 daily fines, and $75 additional for each pig.
"It's going to be really hard because, it's going to be hard to part with them," Hagel says.
Hagel and her lawyer plan to sue to challenge the ban, they can then take it to a district court.