Florida family fights HOA to keep pet pig

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(SSN) A Florida family is fighting their neighborhood's homeowners association over their pet pig Hamilton.

Cari McDowell says her neighborhood's homeowners association first voiced concerns about Hamilton a year ago. "We had done our research; I mean we had looked at the association documents and we had looked at the Sarasota County ordinance," McDowell said. "The first letter we got we thought, 'Well maybe they don't know the county ordinance.'"

The ordinance states purebred miniature potbellied pigs are not considered farm animals when not raised for food or product. McDowell says she explained that to the HOA over a year ago, and never received a response, until now.

"We got a letter stating our defense was that he was a service animal, and therefore we needed to provide documentation," McDowell said. "So we wrote to the lawyer and we were like, 'I think there's been a mistake, you know, we said he was a common household pet.'"

There were several documents McDowell had to present to try and convince the association that Hamilton is a pet, not a farm animal or swine. That's true by county standards, but because of the provision of the ordinance, it now becomes a civil matter between the McDowell's and the HOA.

"He's part of the life. You come home and he greets you at the door; he does a funny little pig laugh when he's happy to see you. He's part of our family so we really don't want to get rid of him," said McDowell.

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