Pet pig named Princess slaughtered by neighbor who promised to look after her
A family have been left devastated after their pet pig was slaughtered by a neighbour, who had reportedly promised to look after the animal after she escaped her enclosure.
Last Saturday, Princess the Pig went on the loose in Arcata, California, and went on an adventure around the neighbourhood, occasionally stopping to graze in a yard and capturing enough attention that her escapade was posted to Facebook. Humboldt Paws Cause was immediately on the case:
A police officer was called to the scene to figure out what to do with Princess, a 400-pound pig, who had no collar or tag but belonged to Carrie Hogan, having escaped her mother's pig pen. "She’s very sweet," Hogan explained to the Lost Coast Outpost. "She’s not aggressive. She likes to be around people."
Hogan had raised Princess since she was a piglet, bottle-feeding her in Hogan's living room. With her first birthday having passed by last January and as a part of the Future Farmers of America organisation, her daughter presented Princess at the local fair. Hogan considered the pig to be a part of her family.
The officer didn't know what to do with the pig, but reportedly struck a deal with a man, who agreed to look after Princess until the necessary authorities arrived. The police left, but when they returned an hour later, Princess had already been killed, and sold for meat.
"He took it upon himself to give my animal away. And then it got butchered," said Hogan, upset that the police entrusted a stranger to take care of Princess, but Arcata Police Department Chief Brian Ahearn stood by the officer's decision, saying he was "shocked" the pig ended up killed.
"We were totally shocked and surprised to learn that the pig had been slaughtered. There was no reason to believe that that individual was going to do that," Ahearn said to the Outpost, explaining that the officer believed they'd reached a "reasonable arrangement" with the man in question.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Todd Dockweiler explained that this was a "really bizarre case", but that loose animal calls weren't exactly a once-in-a-blue-moon type occurrence. "Believe it or not, that's not a super uncommon call for us," Dockweiler explained to SFGate.
"We have a lot of loose livestock calls. It is very common to have loose cows, loose horses, loose goats. [In this part of Arcata] it's still a neighborhood environment but a lot of folks have a few acres."
Meanwhile, Hogan is still hoping to retrieve Princess' remains - because she wishes that nobody else would benefit from the meat. "I think that the hardest part of this is knowing that there’s somebody out there that’s this kind of a savage," said Hogan, adding that she's looking to press legal charges.
To that end, Ahearn has already submitted the case to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, hoping justice can still be served. "We’re evaluating whether there was a crime. We believe there was," Ahearn added.