Little Rock homeowner fighting for pet pig in court

(KATV) It is a story Channel Seven first brought you Monday. A pig in the city is why a Little Rock woman went to court Wednesday.

By law, the animal is not allowed to live in a neighborhood, but the owner of the pot bellied pig disagrees. Some supporters wore 'save sooie' shirts.

Jyll Latham pled not guilty in environmental court Wednesday, that means she will be back with her attorney to plead her case during a trial. "One trial after another, having to hire an attorney to keep my own pet."

Family, friends, even fans who have never meet W.P. Sooie showed up in support of the pig getting to stay home. Latham says, "It's frustrating. It is emotional, I'm tired but I'm not going to stop fighting."

The pig is 10-month old. They lived in a Little Rock rental home for seven months with no complaints. Latham purchased a home in Little Rock two months ago.

Two days after Jyll Latham moved to her new home, Animal Control gave her a citation. The case unfolded because her neighbor made a complaint, specifically about the smell of the animals waste.

The Little Rock hog ordinance states the breed is allowed in the city. However, Latham says she was unaware of the code on Livestock that reads hoofed animals are not allowed within 300 feet of the next house.

Latham insist, Sooie is not livestock, that he is a trained, indoor pet. "Even if I had seen that ordinance, I don't think I would have thought twice about it because it specifies livestock."

Jon Choate says, "Being a pig owner, I was automatically drawn to it and wanted to show my support to the community."

Jon Choate lives on the Little Rock city line. He also has a 10 month old pot bellied pig, but lives on several acres and hasn't received complaints about Harley. He adds, "They are not like the hogs you would see on a farm for slaughter. As far as their cleanliness, they are very clean. They don't have any odor."

Latham concludes, "We'll be back and we're going to do everything we can to save Sooie."

The neighbor who made the complaint went to court as an audience member, he did not speak to media.

Sooie will get to stay at home for now. The trial is set for Thursday, June 27 at 2 p.m. in Judge Mark Leverett's court - Little Rock District Court. Channel Seven will keep you updated.

A petition in support of Sooie already has more than 1,300 signatures and there is even a Save Sooie Facebook page.