City of Chandler: Pet pig that helps boy with Asperger's has to go

The city of Chandler has ordered this family to remove a pig. But the pig is, little boy, Julian's friend. The family argues that it's a service pet.

Everybody in life needs a best friend. For 9-year-old Julian Gil of Chandler that's his pet pig Maggie.

"Sometimes I just like to be with her if I don't know what to do. She's my friend," he said.

But Maggie is more than just someone to have fun with after school. That's because Julian suffers from Asperger's syndrome and this pot-bellied pig was his family's answer to bring a calmness to Julian's life.

"She's been his life for three years. She's everything to him," Julian's mom, Arlene Gil, said. But that could all be changing.

Even though Maggie is restricted to their home and enclosed yard, someone in the neighborhood complained and now Maggie has to go.

The city has issued an order to remove the pig because it's illegal to have livestock living in their neighborhood zoning.

But her son's psychiatrist believes Maggie should actually be considered a service pet and thinks she is the right animal to help treat Julian.

In the meantime, the family has 10 days to comply with the city's order. They're hoping the city will see Maggie the same way they do.

"We don't want to break any laws, we just want to do what's right for him," Julian's mom said.

Chandler city officials said they are just following procedure after investigating two complaints. According to city ordinance, it's illegal to keep a pig or hog at a home within the city.

And according to state law, only a dog or miniature horse can be considered a service animal. It does not include other species of animals -- trained or untrained, wild or domestic.

We will keep you updated on what happens to Maggie.


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