Princess, a 400-pound Hampshire cross pig, was a beloved member of Carrie Hogan’s family. In January, the pig, who had been bottle-fed in Hogan’s living room since she was a piglet, celebrated her first birthday. “She’s very sweet,” Hogan told the Lost Coast Outpost, “She’s not aggressive. She likes to be around people.”
However, Princess’s life was cut short by one member of a California community after the animal seemingly wandered onto the wrong lawn.
Last Saturday morning, Princess escaped her pen in Arcata, California, and took a walk around the neighborhood. Soon, the peripatetic porker drew the attention of neighbors who reported her on Humboldt Paws Cause.
Arcata police officers arrived at the scene. Princess had no form of identification, including no tags or markings, and no one knew the owner of the pig, either. Livestock escaping is quite common in the area, as Arcata Police Lt. Todd Dockweiler told SF Gate, so it isn’t unusual for officers to ask a neighbor to keep an eye on an animal until the owners are located.
Thus, an officer asked the man on whose property Princess was found if he could keep her in the fenced yard while they located her owners. The man agreed.
It didn’t take long to find the owner, as Princess’s family was out looking for her, too. Within an hour the police officer returned to the property, reports SF Gate.
In that time, the neighbor slaughtered the pig.
“Obviously that was a bit of a shock to everyone involved. … Given the stage of the butchering process he was in, he must have slaughtered the pig very shortly after the officer left,” Dockweiler told the outlet.
According to the Outpost, the responding officer and the man had a “reasonable arrangement.”
“There was no reason to believe that that individual was going to do that,” Arcata Police Chief Brain Ahearn told the outlet. Police say that the man who slaughtered the pig was not the property owner, but did have permission to be on the property.
The Hogan family was understandably heartbroken. The first to hear the news of Princess’s untimely demise was Hogan’s mother, who went to the property and confronted the man. Hogan said he was dismissive and told her, “You have no right to be on this property.”
While considered a family pet, Princess is still legally considered livestock, and the suspect could be charged with “theft of livestock.” The Arcata Police Department has already passed the case on to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office.
According to the Outpost, Hogan is hopeful of getting the meat of the animal returned to her to prevent the suspect, or anyone else, from eating it.
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