LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It's not very often that Little Rock's environmental court gets a high profile case.

Jill Latham, owner of a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named W. P. Sooie, along with her family and supporters entered a Little Rock Municipal Court Wednesday only to find out that the court appearance was just a plea arraignment.

Latham said the process of trying to keep her pet pig has been exhausting.

"It's been one trial after another. Having to hire an attorney to keep my own pet, whom I did research on to make sure I could have. Having to battle with my neighbors in a neighborhood I feel unwelcome in that I've been in for two months," she explained.

The city said she's violating an ordinance by keeping a hoofed-animal close to her neighbors, but Latham said there's another ordinance exempting pot belly pigs from that.

She pleaded not guilty and got a trial date, which will allow her to keep Sooie for at least six more weeks.

"It's emotional. I'm tired, but I'm not going to stop fighting," stated Latham.

Fellow pig owner, John Choate said he showed up to give his support to Sooie.

"I've got a mini pig of my own, and being a pig owner, and hearing about the story, I was automatically drawn in and wanted to show support for other pig lovers," he explained, and Latham is thankful for the support.

"It's really touching; It hits a nerve with a lot of people," she said. "Especially, pot-bellied pig owners, who a lot of them have battled this themselves. Just pet lovers in general."
Choate said pot-bellied pigs are just like any other pet.

"They are great pets. They are very, very smart. They are smarter than dogs. He's even learned to heel and sit and come when you call him, and their very clean," she described. "He doesn't produce anything. He's just a pet. He's no different than a dog even though he has hooves--that's the only difference between him and a dog."

Latham will be back in court June 27. Then, a judge will decide if Sooie stays or goes.

Related Link:

Pet owner fighting to save her pot-bellied pig

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