A Lakewood woman would like to keep a ‘teacup’ pig as a pet in her Cohassett Avenue home.
However, a number of animals — including swine — are prohibited from living in the city, according to city ordinances.
Shelby Costo, a lifelong resident, asked for council’s blessing at a recent council meeting to keep the domesticated, smaller-sized pig in her home.
It's called a "teacup" pig, because — wait for it — the animal is small enough to fit inside of a teacup.
“I have always been looking for a pet experience that is more unique than just a dog or a cat and that also would not be dangerous to the community,” she told council. “These interact well with other dogs and I do have two pugs already at home as well as small children. They thrive very well in a house and yard.”
Council members — as well as the administration — weren’t thrilled with the plan.
Law director Kevin Butler said Costo likely won’t be allowed to keep the pig as a pet.
The ordinance spells out that the mayor may grant exceptions for “scientific” or “educational" purposes, but Butler noted that this request doesn’t fall into either category.
"There’s no difference between having a baby tiger,” Butler said. “Any type of swine is clearly defined as prohibited — no matter if it’s really small.”
This isn’t the first time that a resident has looked to house animals prohibited by the Lakewood Codified Ordinances.
“We get requests every once in a while,” said Butler. “Over-sized servile cats — we get those requests often. Someone recently wanted a goat for the purpose of cheese-making.”
“It’s not uncommon for people to come in with requests.”
More notably, earlier this council considered allowing hens in the backyards of four Lakewood families as part of a mayor-supported pilot project, but instead council voted to take away the mayor’s ability to grant exceptions to allow hens in the city.