'Princess Pickles' The Emotional Support Pig Can't Stay With Festus Family

A Festus single mother and her son are being forced to kick out their pig because it violates city law.

September 26, 2019
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FESTUS, Mo. (Y98) -  Festus city officials are telling a resident to remove her emotional support potbelly pig from within city limits because they are violating a city ordinance.

Debra Buff says the city's prosecuting attorney sent her a letter last week, telling her that "Princess Pickles" has 30 days to find a new home. Buff says she plans to fight the decision. 

Buff says no one has complained to her about the pig, who is an emotional support animal for her 13-year-old son, Aiden. 

"I mean someone complained that I had her, but it wasn't any of my neighbors and my neighbors don't even care that I have her. They're not bothered by her at all," Buff says. "They've even signed the petition that I have online and said, 'We enjoy seeing her out in the yard.'"

Buff's petition on Change.org has more than 3,700 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.

Festus has a law preventing residents from keeping livestock like potbelly pigs. Buff says the pig stays within their yard and is potty-trained.

Buff says her son has autism, ADHD and anxiety, but "(Princess Pickles) brings my son and myself so much joy.  I find happiness with her when I can't and haven't found it anywhere else in a long time. She means everything to my little family."

Buff says if "Princess Pickles" does have to go, she'll take the pig to a home that has other pigs and is allowed to keep them as pets. 

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