HOW TO WIN

How to Win a Zoning Case By: Rebecca DiNolfi
  1. First and foremost as soon as you receive a notice that you are being cited for having a potbellied pig. Contact the proper authorities to tell them that you intend to fight to keep your pet pig. If the notice is from the Health Department notify them. If the notice is from License’s, and Inspection, notify them. If it is from the Zoning Department same here. The ticket could come from any of these departments. You are entitled to your day in court. They must follow Due Process. By doing this you should halt any, and all fines and other notices. Do not allow them to use scare tactics. Then contact me immediately to help you fight your case. At rdinolfi@juno.com or (570) 842-8118.
  2. When you do give your notification that you intend to fight for your pig, ask for a copy of the law they are trying to use to kick your pet pig out of your home. Make sure you not only get in writing, but also find out the date the law was passed. This is very important to your case. The Spirit of the Law, and the date of the law should be some of the most important information you have to win your case. If the law they are using is a livestock law. It was made for feeder, and breeder pigs, and if it was passed before 1985 it was passed before the potbellied pig was ever in this country. In almost all cases there is absolutely NO law on the books either for, or against having a Potbellied Pig as a pet. Therefore if the municipality wants to make a new law either for, or against the potbellied pig as a pet that law can not apply to the potbellied pigs already there, because it was made after the potbellied pig in question, and all other potbellied pigs in that jurisdiction were already there. This is where the Grand father law comes into effect. The pots already there must be grand fathered, and the new law would only pertain to any new Potbellied pigs that are brought into the jurisdiction after the new law was passed.
  3. I advise you to collect all the information you can to present your case in an educated professional manner. These people have no idea at all what a pot bellied pig is, let alone why anyone on earth would want them as a household pet. This is where the information I am providing to you is paramount to winning your case. After you have printed the information from the CD, this web site, or from my zoning packet, like the USDA letter, and the tax information stating that Potbellied pig chow is taxed, and not livestock feed, and numerous other things you will need to make up some packets to present to the authorities at the time of your hearing.
  4. Another thing you might want to do, if it was a neighbor that placed the complaint, you might want to visit all your neighbors with a petition for them to sign stating they don’t mind living next door to a pet potbellied pig.
  5. The night of the hearing see if there are any other potbellied pig parents that are willing to go along with you to testify on behalf of your awesome pet pig.
  6. Dress professionally and try to keep as much emotion as you can out of your presentation. I know it is hard they are your babies.
  7. If you happen to lose your case at the first hearing you are entitled to an appeal process. Ask what you have to do to appeal the decision, and how long you have to do it. Then take it from there. Always remember you are not only entitled to your day in court, but you can appeal the decision.

I would like to add that with all the information that is now available to everyone there should not be many cases lost. I will warn you that there will be that place that no matter what you do they will not allow a Potbellied pig to live in their municipality but it is becoming more rare as we spearhead the fight for the Potbellied pig to be excepted as a companion pet all over the world.

Rebecca DiNolfi

Zoning consultant