Paonia grapples with illicit pig

By Tamie Meck

Did anyone lose a pig?

Seems a pig, about the size of a medium-sized dog, has been reported as wandering the streets of Paonia recently. Mayor pro tem David Bradford asked at the Nov. 22 meeting if anyone knew about the roaming pig.

Filling in for Sergeant Neil Ferguson, interim town manager Dan Dean said during the Police Department report that they thought they knew who the pig belonged to but they were wrong.

"We did go to their house, and their pig was at home," said Dean.

"We still have a roaming pig?" asked Bradford.

"That's what I'm told, yes," replied Dean.

Trustee Chelsea Bookout said she knew about the roaming pig through her volunteer work as a KVNF DJ. "There is a roaming pig," she said. "And a roaming pug."

"Where is the pig?" asked trustee Suzanne Watson.

"I believe it was on Second between Colorado Avenue and Rio Grande," said Bradford, who had seen the porcine the day before the meeting. "It's pretty good sized," said Bradford. "It did not seem overly aggressive. My beagle and the pig were nose to nose."

It presents a dilemma, said Dean. "If we capture it, what'll we do with it?"

"Roast it," said Paonia resident Constantine Hirschfeld from the audience.

"It's problematic," said Dean, "because once we pick it up we have responsibility for it."

Watson suggested it could be taken to Citizens for Animal Welfare and Shelter (CAWS). "As winter comes along, I don't know. Are pigs hearty at low temperatures without a sweater?"

All kidding aside, said Bradford, "There is an ordinance against keeping pigs in town." A chicken coop located within town limits smells terrible, he said. "And pigs are even worse."

Dean agreed with Bradford that the pig could be a problem, and that the town is taking it seriously.