Harper Woods police catch loose pig in city

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published April 12, 2018

 Petunia the pig led Harper Woods police officers on a short chase after she was found wandering the city on Easter Sunday. The Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society has since found her a new home.

Petunia the pig led Harper Woods police officers on a short chase after she was found wandering the city on Easter Sunday. The Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society has since found her a new home.

Photo provided by Corinne Martin

HARPER WOODS — The Harper Woods Department of Public Safety went hog wild on Easter Sunday as it responded to a call of a loose pig in the city.

At first believing the calls to be a prank, police officers arrived on the scene and found there was, indeed, a small potbellied pig on the loose in Harper Woods.

“We got a call in the Sanilac Street and Woodland Street area that there was a pig running loose,” said James Burke, the director of the Harper Woods Department of Public Safety. “It was on April Fool’s Day, so the dispatcher thought it was a prank, but we sent the officers anyway. Sure enough, when they got there, there was a potbellied pig running around.”

The officers were confused by the presence of a pig in the urban environment, but they believe the pig — nicknamed “Petunia” — was most likely someone’s pet.

“We honestly don’t know where it comes from,” Burke remarked. “It’s against city ordinances to own it, but it was very docile and was probably someone’s pet.”

The police officers were able to safely and humanely corral and capture the animal so it could be handed over to the proper authorities.

“They were able to corner it in an area and use the dog stick to bring it in,” explained Burke. “They put him in a dog collar to protect him and keep him from biting the officers, and they put him in the back of the car. We called Corinne (Martin, Director of the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society), and she thought we were pulling a joke on her, but we were able to hand it over.”

Martin, not long after the pig had been brought to the society, said Petunia was doing well and seemed to be enjoying her time with the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society,

“She’s doing great,” Martin said then. “She’s acclimating very well. She seemed to be grinding her teeth a lot at first, which is a sign of distress, but now she’s playing, she’s running around her pen and having fun.”

Martin and her colleagues did some research on Petunia and reached the conclusion that the best option moving forward was to try and find a proper home for the new arrival.

Finding a new home for Petunia meant more than simply finding someone who wants a pet pig. Martin said they had to ensure that whomever they handed her over to had both the knowledge required to own a pig and live in a community where owning such a pet is legal.

Fortunately, Petunia quickly found a new home where she will be happy and healthy.

“She has been adopted and she will go to live on a home with two new pig brothers,” Martin said last week. “She will be living in Yale, Michigan. It was a police officer who adopted her. It wasn’t difficult to find a new home for her because of so much media coverage, and it was just a matter of finding someone who was the right fit.”

Martin said her organization had a lot of fun with Petunia, and Burke said the incident provided some levity for the community as it celebrated the holiday.

“We told our officers not to be camera hogs and not to ham it up, but I think everybody found the whole thing pretty funny,” he joked.