Florence Gruber lounges with some of the approximately 30 to 40 pigs living with her and her partner in their Essex, Vt., home on Friday, December 28, 2012. Bambi (left) gave birth to eight piglets on Christmas eve.(Photo: Glenn Russell, The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press)
BURLINGTON, Vt. (USA TODAY) -- The dozens of mini-pigs ordered out of a Vermont couple's
house earlier this month appear to have found new homes, according to a town
official who inspected the residence Tuesday morning.
"I went through the entire house, including the basement, the garage, the
shed and the RV, and all the pigs have been removed from the premises," Essex,
Vt., Zoning Administrator Sharon Kelley said Tuesday afternoon.
says pigs must go
Pig breeder Florence Gruber and her partner Alan Tsefrekas had been keeping
the pigs inside Tesfrekas' home for about a month before the town ordered them
to relocate the animals.
At its meeting on Jan. 3, the town's zoning board gave Gruber and Tsefrekas
until Tuesday to move the pigs. Kelley said at the meeting that Essex
regulations and the Vermont Department of Agriculture define pigs, even
miniature potbellied pigs, as agricultural animals. And agricultural animals,
she said, are prohibited from living within a residential neighborhood.
Several of Tsefrekas' neighbors complained at that meeting about the pigs,
which at one point totaled 47, according to a town official's count.
Various animal rescue organizations, as well as people interested in adopting
pet pigs, participated in the resettlement project, Kelley said.
The zoning administrator said she intended to return to the house in a few
weeks to ensure the residence remains pig-free.
"I'm going to do a follow up visit because there was still evidence of their
feed, their litter boxes, the gates, all of that was still up and in place,"
Gruber and Tsefrekas did not immediately return a phone message seeking
comment Tuesday afternoon.
Gruber has said she and Tsefrekas never intended to keep so many pigs in
Tsefrekas' house, and only did so because they found themselves in an emergency
situation in New York. Gruber and the pigs moved to the Empire State in the
summer after a court ordered Gruber to remove the pigs from her Paulsboro, N.J.,
Matt Ryan, The (Burlington, Vt.) Free Press