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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • City may allow potbellied pigs

  • It appears the Leavenworth City Commission may change an ordinance that doesn't allow pigs in the city.
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    • In other business
      When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners took up the following issues:

      They discussed possibly lowering the fee charged to companies that dump leaves at the city...
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      In other business
      When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners took up the following issues:
      They discussed possibly lowering the fee charged to companies that dump leaves at the city's brush site or eliminating the fee for local businesses.
      They reviewed the proposed capital improvement program for 2014-2018.
      They received an update on an Ottawa Street project.
      The reviewed the proposed 2014 pavement management program.
      They received a report on the city's sidewalk program.
  • It appears the Leavenworth City Commission may change an ordinance that doesn't allow pigs in the city.
    Commissioners took no formal action Tuesday during what was a study session. But Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said he will bring back proposed changes to allow people to own potbellied pigs in the city.
    The issue was raised after Rick Donnelson received a ticket for having a potbellied pig at his Leavenworth residence. Donnelson addressed the issue with commissioners last month. And he was on hand for Tuesday's study session.
    Kitchens said he has researched the issue.
    "I found really no compelling reason to take action one way or the other," he said.
    He said other cities in the region, including Lawrence and Overland Park, now allow residents to have potbellied pigs. He provided commissioners with examples of restrictions communities that allow potbellied pigs place on the animals and their owners. These include weight restrictions, spay and neuter requirements and registration and licensing requirements.
    Donnelson said his family has had their Vietnamese potbellied pig named Huey for about a year. The animal is treated as a pet.
    "They're extremely clean animals," he said.
    Donnelson, who lives on about 10 acres of land, said his pig is fairly quiet.
    "He doesn't bother anybody," he said.
    Kitchens said the ticket was issued to Donnelson after police received a complaint.
    "Someone called in, and it's a violation," the chief said.
    He said the complaint appears to have been the result of a neighborhood dispute.
    Commissioner Lisa Weakley said she has no objection to changing the ordinance. She said an example provided by Kitchens of an 80 pound weight limit is questionable because a pig could grow larger than that.
    Donnelson said his pig weighs about 75 pounds.
    Kitchens suggested commissioners consider establishing a minimum size requirement for the properties where the pigs are kept. He said there are not very many pieces of property in the city the size of Donnelson's land.
    Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Preisinger said the pigs should be registered and have the necessary shots.
    Kitchens said he doesn't know if he found in his research any city that allows a resident to own more than one potbellied pig. He said herds of pigs elevates the risk of swine flu.
    Donnelson's wife, Valerie, later said swine flu isn't common.
    Preisinger recommended the Commission consider allowing potbellied pigs in the city but with some restrictions.
    Weakley said she would like to have a regulation regarding the size of a yard for the owner of a potbellied pig.
    Kitchens said he will return during a future meeting with a draft for commissioners to consider.
    Page 2 of 2 - Weakley asked what the Leavenworth Animal Control shelter will do if someone who no longer wants a potbellied pig surrenders it to the shelter.
    "We will just have to deal with that," Kitchens said.
    He said Animal Control probably would have to deal with the problem on a case-by-case basis.
     

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