Pot Belly Pig getting its day in Little Rock court

(KATV) Little Rock - The future of a family pet in the Little Rock city limits will go before the environmental court Wednesday. The controversy is that it's a pot belly pig.

It is a face only a mother could love, and mom, Jyll Latham is doing everything in her power to keep W.P. Sooie in the family.

Most people have to do a double take when they see Jyll walking because at the end of the leash, yes, that's a 60-pound, 10 month old pig.

He is spoiled, trained and an attention hog. She says, "Sit. Good boy."

But would you mind W.P. Sooie living next to you? Latham explains, "New neighbor was not happy and they decide to complain to animal control who decided to take issue with it."

It's been Latham's dream to own a pot belly pig and before buying the three pound ham, she did research. "I specifically checked the Little Rock City code and it allowed pot belly pigs."

The city code on hogs clearly allows Vietnamese pot bellied pigs. "The issue is that the city is quoting a separate ordinance." It's the livestock code that doesn't allow hoofed animals on a city lot or within 300 feet from another residence.

Andre Bernard is the Director for the Department of Housing & Neighborhood Programs for the City of Little Rock. He explains that both codes are in Chapter 6. "You have to look at the entirety of the code and not just one section. That says these animals are prohibited, with these exceptions."

Latham maintains that the codes are at odds and this tailgating hog fan is a pet, not livestock. "I've enjoyed him from the day I got him. It's just been... buying this house in particular that's been a huge regret."

The initial complaint from the neighbor was not about the actual pig, rather the smell from his waste. Latham argues it's no worse than a dog.

Latham lived in Little Rock the first 7 months she had Sooie. She recently moved to the current home, also in the city limits. She explains, "Animal control was here the second day I lived here because of my neighbors complaint."

If the judge doesn't agree with Latham, she plans to appeal. She has hired an attorney.

Sooie is an indoor pet and the family worries about putting him up for adoption.

A petition in support of Sooie already has more than 600 signatures and there is even a Save Sooie Facebook page.