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Councillors send more pets packing

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Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press
Stacie Gottfried with her daughter, Shanti, and two of the five hens, Jumpy (left) and Ono (right), they have in a backyard coop.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press Stacie Gottfried with her daughter, Shanti, and two of the five hens, Jumpy (left) and Ono (right), they have in a backyard coop. Photo Store

A River Heights woman found out her pig is a hog -- even if it's a pot-bellied pig -- and is banned from being owned in the city.

And a North Kildonan family that home-schools their children is being allowed to keep their flock of chickens -- at least for a few more months.

These were two decisions councillors on the civic protection and community services committee made just hours before tackling the proposed responsible pet ownership bylaw -- a bylaw that contains sections concerning both types of animals.

Donna Pinchuk, of Borebank Street, said Tiffany, her one-year-old pig, is her pet and said it cuddles with her on the couch, obeys commands to sit and stays inside the home or backyard.

Pinchuk argued while the city bans owning hogs in the city, it lumps hogs with other commercial farm animals, such as cattle and goats.

"My pig is bred to be a pet, not a meat animal," she said.

After councillors voted against her keeping the pig, a teary-eyed Pinchuk said she realized in advance she would only win her appeal to keep the hog "when pigs fly." She told reporters she had already sent her pig to live on a rural farm.

"Losing her is still hard," she said, adding she hopes city councillors take another look at allowing animals such as hers in the future.

Meantime, Stacie Gottfried and her daughters Jessie, 16, and Shanti, 11, argued in favour of keeping their five hens in a backyard coop on Essar Avenue.

Gottfried said she home-schools her daughters and in the three years since the hens hatched, the chickens have helped them learn industrial arts, mathematics and history -- all through the process of feeding, raising and housing them.

Gottfried said public schools are allowed to keep chickens and she said she hoped they could, too, because their kids are home-schooled.

Coun. Ross Eadie (Mynarski) asked the issue be put over to October.

The committee then approved the rest of the responsible pet ownership bylaw.

The committee sent the proposed bylaw to next week's executive policy committee.

As well, the committee voted to ban circuses from using exotic animals and put restrictions on the type and size of reptiles residents can own.

Bill McDonald, head of the Winnipeg Humane Society, said he was pleased with the circus ban.

"We've been working on that for two decades," McDonald said.

Earlier, Kate Simpkin argued in favour of the city overturning its decades-old ban on pit bulls. But later, Leland Gordon, the head of Animal Services, said he saw no reason for change.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 5, 2013 B2

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