Ryan Rooney and his wife Kimberly have had Pumba for a year and a half before they found out their pig was not zoned for their North Delta residence. They had until Friday, May 12 to re-home Pumba, but found out on May 11 he would be able to stay. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Ryan Rooney and his wife Kimberly have had Pumba for a year and a half before they found out their pig was not zoned for their North Delta residence. They had until Friday, May 12 to re-home Pumba, but found out on May 11 he would be able to stay. (Grace Kennedy photo)

North Delta family gets to keep its pet pig

Though his home isn’t zoned for livestock, Pumba the pig can continue living his quiet suburban life.

After several tense days spent wondering where he’d live, Pumba the pot-bellied pig is home for good.

On Thursday, May 11, Pumba’s owner Ryan Rooney received a call from Hugh Davies, the manager of property use and compliance at the Corporation of Delta, saying his pet pig was able to continue living at his North Delta residence.

“He came out here and he was talking to the neighbours,” Rooney said. “And all the neighbours gave Pumba a good review, and said he’s part of the community.”

“So he called me … and said it would be more of a problem if we took him from your family than if we left him alone.”

Earlier that week, Pumba had escaped and been taken to the Delta Animal Shelter. Rooney was informed that Pumba would have to be rehomed by Friday, May 12, as their property was not zoned for livestock. Although Pumba is the size of a medium dog and weighs 40kg, he is classified as livestock and not a household pet under Delta’s bylaws.

Before they were told Pumba could stay, Rooney created a petition on change.org to ask municipal council to change the bylaw to allow pot-belly pigs to be considered household pets.

“Pumba will never grow to be 800lbs as the ‘pig’ the bylaw refers to,” the letter on the petition’s page stated. “Pumba also is not raised for food, fiber, or work. He is raised to bring joy to our lives.

“He lives in our home and is house trained like a dog is. Please let us keep our family member in our lives.”

The letter had not yet been sent to council when Ryan Rooney and his wife Kimberly were told they could keep Pumba.

After they learnt Pumba could stay, Kimberly Rooney posted in the North Delta Community Corner Facebook group.

“Absolutely overwhelmed that our little guy gets to stay with us,” she wrote. “He really is our family and anyone who meets him can easily understand why. He really is all heart, smarts and love.”

Ryan Rooney echoed those sentiments.

“Community is a big thing,” he said. “When you belong to a community that cares, there’s nothing that can really stop the community from achieving something that they feel is important.”

Neither Davies, the Corporation of Delta or the Delta Animal Shelter were able to get back to the Reporter before press deadline.

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