Fort Worth’s Feral Hog Policy Backfires

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Feral hogs number in the millions in North Texas, and do damage in the tens of millions of dollars.

So when Fort Worth animal control got a call Monday evening from a resident who needed help with one, in an area known for hog problems, it responded immediately.

“It was a resident that trapped, what they reported as a feral hog in their backyard,” said code complaince director Brandon Bennett.

Bennett said officers immediatley recognized though that it was not a feral hog, but a pot belly pig, commonly kept as pets.

It had no collar though, and officers said after they tried to corral it with a pole, it became aggressive and they tranquilized it with a dart.

After looking at it further, finding no microchip on the animal, and no registration for it with the city, officers decided it was likely a feral pig.

“The belief was they were dealing with a feral potbelly pig and it was humanely euthanized,” Bennett said.

The next morning though, they learned the pig had a name – Peanut.

“I think I’m still in shock,” said Peanut’s owner, Mary Kelleher. “I can’t even believe that. As many problems as I’ve had with feral hogs, ultimately it’s my pet pig that the city picks up.”

Kelleher had just taken the four-year-old pig in from its elderely owner two weeks ago.

She realized he was gone Monday, but couldn’t find him.

Tuesday morning when she called the animal shelter, they told her the pig had been euthanized.

Kelleher lives just a few hundred feet from where the pig was found, but she said no one from the city ever came to see if the animal might belong to her.

She lives in an agriculture zone and has horses, cattle, goats and pigs on the property. Fort Worth has a policy of immediately euthanizing feral hogs.

Feral cats though, and dogs, are kept for at least three days, even after they come out of quarantine.

Bennett said the case illustrates a possible need for a new policy on handling pigs on the loose.

“A partner, somebody who can take one of these pigs and hang onto it for awhile, just to see if an owner pops up,” he said.


One Comment

  1. Peggy says:

    More morons on the loose…can’t even tell the difference between a feral hog…and the thought process leading up to killing this poor pet….how do these people walk around unattended and with guns?

  2. darrell says:

    the city should consider installing a small processing facility with an adjoining smokehouse.

    1. George P. Burdell says:

      Do you smell bacon?

  3. NiteNurse says:

    While I think potbelly pigs are cute they are rather large and difficult to keep and maintain as these owners found out the hard way. Animals this large need to be kept on ranches or large open areas.

    1. George P. Burdell says:

      Did you read the article? It says the owner “lives in an agriculture zone and has horses, cattle, goats and pigs on the property.”

  4. Danna Q says:

    There’s obviously a lot of animal haters here with comments that lack intellect, knowledge, or compassion. Morons notwithstanding, once again the fine management of the city of Fort Worth gets in wrong. It’s a feral hog because it’s not micro chipped? Really? For literally years my mother in law has made referrals, complaints, and requests of Animal Control to do something about the rabid, aggressive dogs that roam her residential neighborhood. Has the city ever so much as knocked on her door in response? Of course not, they’re obviously too busy killing (obvious) family pets in an area zoned for livestock. Brilliant…simply brilliant!

    1. darrell says:

      come on now. you really dont want to break up a family of rabid dogs do you? think of the poor puppies left behind to wander your neighborhood without proper instruction on who to bite when or where your relatives live. its so much easier to pick on one lone pig. besides, have you seen the price of bacon lately? no one is going to complain about eating a little pork, but having dog burritos just dont go over socialy to well.

  5. SKEETER says:

    Sorry to hear about this,you know me & animals.The city is run by a bunch of morons who want to be politically correct I called them & asked “Why,when the city & it’s citizens are going thru hard economic times ,do you kill the pigs?There are plenty of people who would love them made into sausage ,help feed the homeless,and even the zoo,how much money would be saved? She said they couldn’t risk getting anyone sick.The last time I checked there were HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF HUNTERS WHO WOULD DISAGREE WITH THIS MORONIC STATEMENT. Old Nate said if they would give him the hogs, he would have them processed & feed all his friends in Mosier Valley.What a bunch of stupid elected officials who want to keep on wasting our money!

  6. carol gill says:

    i happen to be the original owner of peanut.. peanut was raised in my home from the time he was 3 months old. he was a complete couch potato. he walked on a leash, played ball and was best friends with a 4 yr old boy who could climb all over him. this is how feral and mean peanut was. the city of ft worth litterally murdered an outstanding pet. i placed him with mary kellleher so he could have a great life on her acreage. ft worth made sure that was a very short life. i hope they will pay for this in the end.

    1. darrell says:

      carol, i sympathize with how you feel but the blame lies on the person you left your pet with. they failed to insure the pet, unregistered, no identification on it, no chip, was secure within her property. without any options except to follow policy the city did what it was required to do. rant and rave all you want but the blame lies with peanuts current owner.

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