LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- His name is W.P. Sooie, and he currently lives with a Little Rock homeowner. The pet pot-bellied pig is facing an uncertain future at his home with a court battle starting on Wednesday.
Jyll Latham argued that the city has conflicting codes on the books when it comes to Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, and she should be able to keep her pet at home. However, the city said even though these animals are allowed under an exemption, there's a further restriction that Latham has not complied with.
W.P. Sooie is a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig and an apparent Razorback fan, based on the designs around his collar. He lives with Jyll Latham in Little Rock.
"Sit. Sit. Good boy. Good. Sit." Latham commanded to her pet pig.
W.P. Sooie actually runs with a pack of pets at this home. But, the 60-pound hog, who lives in the house, is the one thing worrying Latham.
"He's my pet, and I would fight just as hard if they said I couldn't have a poodle for whatever reason," Latham said.
Latham will head to district court Wednesday after getting a citation from Little Rock Animal Control that challenges her pet pig living in a residential area.
"I did the research on it to make sure the city would allow it and found the ordinance where it specifically allows pot-belly pigs," Latham said.
She's right on that point. A city ordinance called "Hogs Prohibited" includes an exemption for Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, but the city argued that Latham should have read further into that section of code where a "Keeping of Livestock" ordinance requires hoofed animals to be at least 300 feet from her nearest neighbor. The city said that Latham doesn't have that kind of distance.
"Even once we say the Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs are allowable, there are other parts of the code that you still have to comply with," said Andre Bernard, who runs the city's Department of Housing and Neighborhood Programs.
"Honestly, even if I had seen it, I don't know even if I would have considered it because I know he's not livestock. He's a pet. He was being bought as a pet," Latham said.
The rules on the books just don't make sense to Latham, but she'll be in court Wednesday to protect W.P. Sooie.
THV 11 News also asked Andre Bernard about Latham's claims that her pig is just a housebroken pet like her dogs and not doing any harm. Bernard said that she can raise those issues before the judge, but the city's main concern remains about compliance.
We should note that this case first came before the city after a neighbor complained about the pig.
As for Wednesday's court first court appearance, it begins in Little Rock District Court at 1 p.m. and could include an arraignment.