Pig vs. Pound: Owner claims capture of wandering pet, killed it
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- An Eastlake woman claims a control crew from the McKamey Animal Center was cruel to, and negligent of, her pet pot-bellied pig, and that its actions cost her pet its life.
"When I got him he was a week old, and I bottle-fed him," Debbie Moore says.
That's the 'Precious' she wants to remember; the 11-year companion who'd been sharing a backyard with her dogs Gordon and Spider.
Not the scared, stubborn, 130-pound animal depicted in a neighbor's video, shot last Friday, when McKamey officers tried to capture and corral him after he wandered into a neighbor's yard.
"They had that thing around his neck, and with the two officers behind him hitting him with sticks, I think it shows animal cruelty," Moore says.
"The pig was charging the children, charging the neighbors," McKamey Director Karen Walsh responds.
The Animal Center has its own video, from the necklace cam of one of the responding officers.
"What they were trying to do is maneuver the pig so that first catchpole person doesn't get hurt, and they were trying to guide the pig as well," Walsh says. "The catchpole protects both animal and officer. They're not choking the animal. But it's upsetting to watch."
Friday's problem: where to put 'Precious' once they caught him.
"There was no way to get back into the yard," Walsh says.
Moore's fence has no gate. Parts are electrified.
"He had been in the horse trailer, before," Walsh says.
"I believe he died of exhaustion when they put him in that horse-trailer, with no ventilation, no water," Moore says.
"We don't carry buckets, but the neighbor says she (Moore) would be back shortly," Walsh counters.
Walsh played several of Moore's voicemails to McKamey, for Eyewitness News.
One message indicated that Moore arrived home at 3:15 Friday afternoon, roughly an hour after officers left the pig in the horse trailer. That message makes no mention of the pig's death.
"The pig is dead," Moore responds angrily. "You think I would go through all this if the pig weren't dead?"
The horse trailer is no longer at Moore's home. She says she took it, with Precious still in it, to a neighbor who disposed of the body. She declined to identify the neighbor.
"They (the control crew) did everything they needed to do," Walsh says. "They need to protect themselves, they need to protect the animal."
McKamey left several citations; for unlicensed dogs, and the roaming pig.
"I'll pay the fines if it's that important to them," Moore says. "But nothing can make this right."
"You can't, you cant. This is like losing your child."