Pot-Bellied Pig Owner Seeks Zoning Change

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KINGSTON TOWNSHIP--   A family who recently moved to Luzerne County's back mountain area wants to change what they describe as outdated zoning laws.

It all centers on the family's pet pot-bellied pig named Gemma.  The family feels stuck in the mud after being told the pig has to go.

A Kingston Township zoning ordinance bans farm animals in neighborhoods. But the family considers Gemma one of their own, and according to their attorney, so does Gemma.

"This pig just feels like it's part of the family," said Larry Kansky, the family's attorney.

Gemma is more than a pet to the family. She's a therapy pig to Heather Brennan, providing her emotional support.

Now, the family is seeking the community's support for their effort to keep Gemma. An online petition started just a few days ago already has more than 1,100 names.

The township manager said the ordinance passed in the 1980s.

"No pun intended, but someone has to be the guinea pig in some of these ordinances that are outdated and maybe in the future we can get it changed, but it has to go through this process," said Kathleen Sebastian, the township manager,

The case is expected to be heard by the township zoning board Thursday night.

The family stresses it's not trying to make the neighborhood a farm zone, it just wants to update the current ordinance to allow the pig.


  • Neighbor

    As a neighbor I see this as a slippery slope. Ours is a residential neighborhood. To see a pig laying outside in a chain link fence pen is a little weird. No the piggy doesn’t just got outside to pee then back inside. The owner is a liar. But the pig does compliment the pickup truck that sits in the front yard and then in the back yard for weeks at a time. Really classes up the neighborhood! Then she curses out the zoning enforcement officer because she doesn’t like him doing his job. And yes this law has been on the books for years and is accessible online.

  • Rationalpsyche

    What’s next? Emotional support Alpacas? Chickens? Goats? Leopards? There is NO way this pig has undergone ANY training to be a support animal. It’s another case of putting “emotional support” before the name of the animal so they can have the animals where “no pets” are allowed. The “emotional support” animal is a scam. For the right amount of money you have a stuffed monkey labelled “emotional support” pet.


    Why is it there’s always someone that can’t adhere to the laws? They should have checked the zoning ordinances before moving. Now it doesn’t suit them so they want it changed. You change it for one there will be more to follow! Zoning laws are in place for a reason.

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