Queens family battles city over pet pig
GalleriesWestminster dog show 2013 Long Island dogs competing at the Westminster 2013 Dog Show American Kennel Club: Most popular dog breeds of 2012
A state senator is trying to help a Queens family keep its pet pig, which is banned by a city law.
Danielle Forgione, who lives in Whitestone with her family, purchased Petey the pig in April to help her children cope with both the death of their uncle and their grandfather's battle with cancer.
But the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's ban on "the possession and/or harboring of pig species" forced the family to either get rid of the pig or move to where it is legal. The Forgiones chose to move from the city, but they are still trying to change the law.
"Pet pigs are gaining popularity and recognition as great pets," Forgione said, because of their "cleanliness, diminutive size, friendly disposition and intelligence."
The family set up a Facebook page to support Petey. It had more than 400 "likes" as of last night. A petition on the website Change.org also was set up to encourage lawmakers to change the rules.
State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Whitestone) is calling on the department to re-examine the law that forced the Forgione family to move. "Not only is the pig house-trained and well-behaved, it has helped the children deal with some very traumatic events," Avella said Tuesday.