I've said it once, and I'll say it again - likely till the day I die.
I. Love. Pigs.
Honestly, pigs are incredible animals. Not because bacon is amazing, but because they are incredibly intelligent, compassionate and thoughtful animals. Even more so when you have one in your family as a pet.
A local woman in Hochelaga is facing issues with the Montreal borough's dog patrol this week. An anonymous complaint has been made, and the woman is being forced to rehome her potbelly pig and start the process no later than May 1.
In Montreal, pet pigs are not an "approved species" of pet to own. With that said, this woman is far from the only person in Montreal who has a pet pig that they call family.
Not to mention that Sara-Maude Ravenelle, the pig's owner, had looked to the mayor and the Hochelaga borough hall for proper permission to keep the family member with them.
They did, in fact, receive a letter from the mayor himself permitting the pig to continue living with his forever family.
"A neighbor we do not know made a complaint about the species. It was a complaint of noise, nuisance or nothing" notes Ravenelle.
For Ravenelle, Babe is as much her "son" as any other parent or pet owner would consider their animal. The pig has been with the family since being a 3-month old piglet.
Now, there are a few issues with this double standard to me.
Pigs may not be on the "approved list" of pet species allowed in Montreal. However, they are not on the list of animals considered to be "dangerous", either. I mean look at this guy - he isn't hurting anybody.
Recently in Quebec, there have been similar legal battles surrounding domestic pigs. Trois-Rivières, Rouyn-Noranda and Quebec city have authorized the possession of domestic pigs, but Montreal has yet to catch up.
Sara-Maude has taken all the necessary steps to ensure that Babe, her pig, has a safe and closed off environment to roam around in their yard, and he is no trouble to anyone. This forced removal of their loved family member is unfair.
Pigs, in general, are one of the most intelligent animals in the world. This is a true fact. Domesticated pigs make for one of the most affectionate pets you can have... if you have the time to look after one.
It may seem weird to some to have what most would consider food as a pet, but the reality is that pigs make incredible companions.
They are very clean animals. They will use a litter box just like a cat does, which is a step above all the careless dog owners leaving behind poop all over the city.
Even when they can be aggressive, their behavior is usually aggressive to those who try to interfere with their day-to-day living. They do not last out and attack people or animals for any reason, and if they do it is a very rare occurrence.
I feel for this woman, their family, and of course Babe the pig.
How would anyone of you feel to have your dog, cat or any loved one ripped away from you beyond your control?
I'm sure some people are rolling their eyes at this... but I honestly ask you, how would you feel? So many Montrealers were appalled at the city-wide pit bull and breed specific ban that helped the Plante administration get voted into office.
This is not any different. Pardon me, I should correct myself. This is very different in the sense that pigs DO NOT ATTACK PEOPLE! It is so uncommon.
You wanna know what is very common? Domesticated pigs that get "abandoned" by their families often become depressed and will starve themselves to death out of their sadness.
They are extremely sensitive, have amazing long-term memory and an intelligence level that matches the average 4-year-old child.
In the city of Montreal, there are about 20 domesticated pig owners that can be accounted for by Ravenelle and the farm they received Babe from. We've seen pet pigs walking around on the street before. It's not common, but it's not so uncommon that Babe should be facing this potentially life-threatening fate.
Justice for Babe the pig and his momma Sara-Maude Ravenelle.
Hochelaga borough hall has confirmed in writing that they are in discussion with Ravenelle and that while "micro-pigs" are not on the approved list of animals allowed in Montreal that the list is under review.
Noting other pig owners in the city, I've seen one person, in particular, walking their pig around downtown who sports a "Service Animal" leash, and this has got to be permitted to get that registration.
So, in a nutshell, this is a gross double standard serving no good cause or purpose for anyone.
Montreal and the city's administration need to wake up and fix this piece of legislation. Pigs do no harm...
Just for added effect, here is an adorable AF pig loving his home life.
If Babe Ravenelle's story speaks to you, I implore you to reach out and make your opinions known to the city of Montreal on this issue.