A Florida mother says a small pig is a therapy pet for her 8-year-old son, who has Down syndrome, and she wants officials to let her family keep the animal.
Heather Ray of Coral Springs said Twinkie the 6-week-old pig is the family's "dog" and should not be subject to the city's code restrictions banning pigs because she is a therapy pet for her son, Kason, 8, and not a farm animal raised for meat, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Friday.
Ray said the pig is the right pet for her son because the child's allergies are severe around dogs, cats and rabbits. She said his allergies have previously led to sinus infections.
"It's important for people with special needs to be accepted," she said. "Animals don't look at you like you're different. They love you no matter what. It's important for us to have him accepted."
Ray said she is hoping to convince officials to allow the family to keep the pig. Otherwise, they said, she could face fines of up to $500 per day.
City Attorney John Hearn said officials are reviewing the case.