The owner of a pot-bellied pig is looking to city hall for an exemption to Kitchener`s bylaws. The pig`s owner says the animal is being kept not as a pet, but for health reasons.

The porker in question came to the city`s attention when bylaw officers received a call about a 100-pound pig living in a basement apartment.

Kitchener bans farm animals like goats, sheep, and pigs within city limits, and animal control officers soon began an investigation.

“We were asked to determine whether the pig was being kept in a safe and healthy environment,” said Jack Kinch, executive director with the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society. “The pig is well looked after … but doesn’t fit (the) bylaw, without an exemption.”

The pig’s owner has asked for such an exemption, and backed up the request with a doctor’s letter indicating the pig should be considered a service animal.

Tamara Leniew, the program manager for National Service Dogs, said while pigs may provide emotional support, there is no group that trains them to be service animals.

In this case and this case alone, city staff are recommending an exemption be granted to the Kitchener`s bylaw.

If that exemption is granted, then strict rules would have to be obeyed, including that the pig not be taken onto private property in Kitchener without the consent of the owner or occupant.

With reporting by Nadia Matos