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Ashford man has property damaged by homeless pigs - Dothan Eagle: News

Ashford man has property damaged by homeless pigs

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Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:52 pm

Big Girl and Petunia grew up on some land just off U.S. 84 near Ashford.

Now, several months on their own, they wander through the yards of local residents searching for food.

Calvin Blair and his wife feed the two pot bellied pigs, who were left behind by his former neighbors.

But Blair said the pigs, who are also blind, have been left to fend for themselves, destroying whatever is in their path as they search for food. He said the pigs have been an ongoing issue for several months.

“They were pets. They were pot bellied pigs that have turned into 500 pound hogs,” Blair said. “We’re not talking little pigs anymore. We’re talking about 500 pound hogs.”

Blair said the pigs destroyed the homemade greenhouse in his front yard and all the plants inside it. He said some of the plants were keepsakes from the funerals for his parents and brother.

“We had plants in there that I brought home from all of their funerals,” Blair said. “What kind of person raises animals and then goes off and leaves them?”

Blair, who said he can’t afford to feed the pigs, has asked his former neighbors several times to remove the pigs, and they’ve refused to come and get the pigs.

“I ain’t got much, but what I have I don’t want destroyed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an animal lover, I got 12 cats and a dog,” Blair said. “We fix them, we feed them until they die, that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

Blair said the owners told him to shoot the pigs. He just wants someone to take responsibility for the animals.

“They tear things up because they can’t see what they’re doing,” Blair said. “These hogs are blind. They can’t even see and are moving around this property by sense of smell.”

Blair said he’d take care of them but he can’t afford to construct a pen and feed them. Blair is on disability after he suffered a broken neck in 1998 from a river diving accident, which he said has resulted in more than 28 surgeries in a dozen years.

“If they want me to keep them they can build me a pen and supply me with the food,” Blair said. “You should not be able to move off and abandon your animals like this. If you abandon an animal like that it’s cruelty. When you abandon blind animals you’re not abandoning animals that can fend for themselves.”

A phone call made to the owner’s phone by an Eagle reporter went unanswered, and was met with a message of a full voicemail box.

After no action continued to be taken by the owners, Blair recently contacted the Houston County Sheriff’s Office to see what legal action could be taken.

Houston County Sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Carlisle, the supervisor over patrol deputies, said a deputy responded to the complaint filed by Blair with the sheriff’s office. He said the sheriff’s office has heard from more than one neighbor about damages caused by the pigs.

“They just don’t need to leave them out there. They’re tearing other people’s property,” Carlisle said. “We’ve made contact with the owners of the pigs and they are making arrangements at this point to try and get the pigs moved.”

Carlisle said if the pigs are not moved, the sheriff’s office could look into some type of criminal neglect charge. He said any damages caused by the pigs could result in civil actions filed by the owners of the damaged property.

“Our biggest concern is the pigs are taken care of,” Carlisle said. “It is a situation at this point we’d prefer they step up and move the pigs.”