Rescued, returned then confiscated.
The pigs from “Pig Island” are in another mess.
The pigs have a been in the news a lot in the last week. If you don’t know their back story, the hogs showed up on an island on the San Joaquin River four years ago. They were put on the island to eat overgrown weeds. The pigs quickly became a sort of tourist attraction for boaters and visitors took pictures and fed the pigs. They even have a Facebook page.
Last week, New York based animal rights activist group Farm Sanctuary removed the pigs from the island. They claimed the hogs were sick and being abused. The group says they got permission from the owner of the island to remove the pigs. The only problem…The owner of the island and the owner of the pigs are two different people.
Days after Farm Sanctuary removed six pigs from the island, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office ordered the pigs be returned to Roger Stevenson, the owner of the pigs. At the time, Stevenson had no way to get the pigs back to the island so he took them to his house in Calaveras County. Stevenson put the pigs on an abandoned golf course in Arnold to eat grass. The pigs escaped and Calaveras Animal Control issued this statement after they were called out to catch the pigs.
“On June 20, 2017, Calaveras County Animal Services staff responded to a notification that multiple pigs were at large on the former Meadowmont golf course in Arnold. When staff arrived, they found five large pigs roaming loose near Highway 4. The makeshift pen in which they had been held and which was insufficient to hold them was located on the old golf course. In that location, a sixth pig was found. In the interests of public safety and animal welfare, Animal Services staff safely secured the animals and brought them back to Animal Services. The legal ownership of the pigs is currently under dispute between private parties.”
Stevenson says Farm Sanctuary is trying to take his pigs. At this point it’s unclear when the pigs will be released. As for going back to the island, it’s not looking good for the pigs. The family that owns of the island told ABC10 the pigs won’t be allowed back. A family member who did not want to named said “There is native vegetation there and the pigs are wrecking it.”
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