Maynard, the miniature potbelly pig, softly snorts whenever he munches on grapes — a favorite snack — in his Rochester home.
The 40-pound pet lives with his loving mom, Beth Courtney, and her boyfriend, Blake Mitchell, in a southeast apartment building. They said Maynard wakes up at 4:30 a.m. on the dot, loves to snuggle in piles of blankets and is the littlest spoon at night in bed.
As the couple looks to soon find a home in the smaller town of Chatfield, however, Courtney did her research to make sure 4½-year-old Maynard could settle down right along with them.
“He’s my baby, and I’m not going anywhere without him,” Courtney said. “(The city) said there shouldn’t be a problem with it, it’s just that no one had brought it to their attention.”
Chatfield’s animal ordinance had listed pigs as livestock, which were prohibited within the city, except in agriculturally zoned, rural residential areas.
Taking advice from other members of the American Mini Pig Association, she approached zoning and planning authorities with recommendations for an amendment that would allow Maynard to live inside the city limits.
The four suggestions she brought forward were that any miniature pig needs to be spayed or neutered, certified with the city, less than 22 inches tall and not let outdoors unsupervised.
“I approached Chatfield with recommendations so it includes Maynard, but it’s also not going to limit other pigs,” she said. “I was actually amazed that it was a pretty smooth process.”
Chatfield City Clerk Joel Young agreed.
“We found that it would make sense to carve out an exception for a miniature pig to go forward,” Young said. “It came up organically, you might say, from an interested prospective resident.”
The city council passed the ordinance amendment Monday evening.
While it was a smooth process with the city itself, Courtney said the idea of having a pet mini pig still can be confusing to some.
“Everyone is still kind of used to the idea that pigs are farming,” she said. “So, when they find out we have one that lives in our apartment, sleeps with us and goes in a litter box, they’re like, ‘What the heck?’”
While still an “up-and-coming” pet, Mitchell said Maynard is the best of both worlds between a cat and a dog.
“They’re amazing pets,” he said. “He’s low- maintenance and super affectionate. He cuddles whenever you want and greets you at the door.”
Especially since mini potbelly pigs can have a lifespan between 12 to 20 years, both Courtney and Mitchell hope to find a home in Chatfield for all three of them, but also one where Maynard can fully run, romp and live for the long haul.
“He’s content here, but we want to give him more,” Courtney said.