Rescued then returned. The pigs from Pig Island will not be going home with a group of animal rights activists.
On Tuesday, New York based Animal rights activist group Farm Sanctuary, removed a half dozen pigs from a private island on the San Joaquin River. On Friday, San Joaquin Sheriffs office ordered the hogs be returned to their owner Roger Stevenson.
“They caused me a lot of headaches and grief.” said Stevenson.
Locals call the hogs home “Pig Island”. It has a large following on Facebook and many boater take turns feeding the animals.
Activists claim the pigs were being abused. Farm Sanctuary Volunteer Suzie Costin said this the day after the pigs were removed.
“These pig were sort of an attraction. They were being fed beer and people were riding them," she said.
Activists say they got permission from the owner of the island to remove the pigs but, the owner of the island and the owner of the pigs are two different people.
“If he [the owner]wanted them off the island all he had to do was call me up and tell me," said Stevenson.
Stevenson says the owner of the island allowed him to put the pig on the land four years ago. The pigs ate overgrown vegetation and weeds, and it’s unclear why the owner of the island may have wanted the pigs removed.
Stevenson has not been able to contact the owner of the island and neither could ABC10. Farm Sanctuary did not return a request for a comment either.
UC Davis Animal Clinic examined the pigs after they were removed from the island and Farm Sanctuary is the only one who has access to the medical records.
Stevenson says he got confirmation that the mother pig is pregnant and the other hogs are in good health.
“I hope to take them back to the island if I can get permission from the owner.” he said.
For the time being the pigs have been moved to Calaveras County and are eating overgrown vegetation at a golf course in Arnold.