Pet pig problem: Mayfield Heights woman fighting to keep her beloved animals

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MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio-- Petitioning city council to keep her pet pigs.

For years, Crystal Rosa paraded her miniature pigs around town in Mayfield Heights; even walking them on a leash throughout her neighborhood without any problems or complaints.

But three weeks ago the fight to save her beloved micro pigs started after a visit from a city worker repairing a brick wall behind her home on Maplewood.

The employee noticed the animals sunning themselves in the yard and reported them to animal control.

Unbeknownst to Crystal, pigs are considered livestock and prohibited in Mayfield Heights.

“I cried...balled like a baby,” said Crystal. “I didn’t understand what was going on because  I’ve had them for so long.”

She received her first micro pig as a birthday gift from her husband five years earlier.

Now the family has several, because she said they are so loving and easy to train; they're nothing like their large barnyard distant relatives.

Crystal's pet pigs not only alert her when they need to use the bathroom outside, but every day at the same exact time they let her know when it’s time to eat.

“They’re very clean; they don’t like dirt,” said Crystal. “I mean you can train them as easy as a dog, sometimes even easier.”

Developed by researchers, the tiny teacup pigs began growing in popularity as pets during the 1980s.

A full grown adult will often weigh anywhere from 50 to 75 pounds, but solidly built, stand only as high as small dog.

Mayfield Heights Mayor Anthony DiCicco told Fox 8’s Suzanne Stratford the city isn’t trying to intentionally remove the pets but the ordinance as it is currently written prohibits pigs as pets within city limits.

The mayor and council have asked to see the pigs and get a first hand education on the breed.

Crystal has started a petition to save her pets, and is bringing them to the council meeting Monday night at 7pm.

She said the law was written in the 1950s before miniature pigs existed, and it’s time to change the ordinance.

Otherwise, she said she and her family may have to move from the house that her grandparents built, and relatives have lived in ever since, because she isn’t getting rid of her pigs.

“You’re basically telling me to get rid of my children- because that's what these animals are to me,” said Crystal.

**CLICK HERE FOR THE PETITION**