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This pig’s tale from Lake Worth is obviously not in your typical scope of HOA Blogs, but it might help you and your loved ones live a little more high on the hog —
He wags his tail when his name is called, rolls over when his belly is scratched and stands calmly when a crowd of people pet him.
Eric and Rori Halpern say their pet Wilbur, a 65-pound potbellied pig with a sweet disposition, is a therapy animal who helps their children and others in Palm Beach County. Their homeowner’s association says he’s livestock and keeping him violates the community’s rules.
Both sides have hired lawyers, and now they’re in the midst of a battle that’s lasted more than six months.
(See, we told you this wasn’t a typical selection from typical HOA blogs!)
“He’s part of our family,” Eric Halpern said. “So we’re not going to give him up without a fight.”
Fourteen-month-old Wilbur has lived in the family’s suburban Lake Worth home for a little over a year. He goes on walks with them, sleeps in their laundry room and cuddles with them on their couch. He’s also house broken: He oinks when he needs to be let out.
Wilbur got certified as the Humane Society of Broward County’s first therapy pig at the minimum age of one. He visits assisted living facilities and schools in South Florida with Rori Halpern, who trained to be his handler.
The pig’s therapy work continues at home, the Halperns say. The couple’s two young sons have both been diagnosed with ADHD and one with Asperger’s syndrome, according to documents they provided. Medical professionals wrote in letters to the association’s lawyers that Wilbur has helped the boys come out of their shells.
Attorneys representing the Cypress Woods Association have asked the doctors to explain why a pig is better suited to support them than a “less objectionable” animal. They also asked whether other treatment methods were sought before bringing Wilbur into the neighborhood.