Kalamazoo man to pursue special permit for pet potbellied pig

Kalamazoo man to pursue special permit for pet potbellied pig. (Stephen Wozny WWMT)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Kalamazoo man is fighting to keep his pet, which under a city ordinance, is illegal to have unless Kalamazoo City Commissioners approve a special exemption allowing Joshua Garcia to keep his potbelly pig named Bacon.

Newschannel 3's Mike Krafcik reported with the details on this story.

Meet Bacon.

Garcia said, “He's about 100 pounds and it's mainly belly.”

Ever since Garcia adopted the potbellied pig about a year ago the two have been inseparable.

Garcia said, “Bacon is family. If we were to have to get rid of him, I know it's only been a year, but he's been there. He's just there. He's like my son.”

Bacon is housebroken, crate trained, litter trained and lives at Garcia's home in the Milwood Neighborhood where he's beloved by the whole family.

Garcia said, “He's not a nuisance at all. He doesn't bother anyone at all. He doesn't bark. He doesn't try to get out, he doesn't try to run.”

A Kalamazoo Public Safety officer threatened to remove Bacon from the home in June after city officials discovered Bacon didn't have a special permit.

Garcia said, “Police said one week to get rid of him.”

The officer was investigating a complaint from a neighbor who took issue with the pig.

Garcia said, “Someone called and said we have a pig and we shouldn't have it.”

Faced with losing Bacon, Garcia took action and applied for the special permit, which will be voted on by Kalamazoo City Commissioners on Monday, July 17.

Kalamazoo Vice Mayor Don Cooney said, “Very rare, every once in a while a thing like that this come up.”

The Kalamazoo City Clerk's Office recently inspected Garcia's home and concluded, "no evidence of issues regarding the health, safety and welfare of the animals or residents at the property."

The clerk’s office recommended the city commission approve the permit.

Cooney said, “I think it's wonderful he has a home. He's being taken care of and a joy to the family.”

Garcia is reshaping the idea of a man's best friend with his pig pal.

Garcia said, “We're so used not to seeing them not domesticated. Like Bacon is, but they are.”

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