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Couple chooses pet pig over home in Cranberry

| Sunday, July 20, 2014, 12:10 a.m.
Philip G. Pavely | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
Nola grazes in the park as Chris and Lauren Miladinovich watch her Wednesday, July 16, 2014. The family found a house they want to buy in Cranberry, but an HOA rule does not allow livestock in the community.
Philip G. Pavely | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
Chris and Lauren Miladinovich take their pet pig Nola to the park Wednesday, July 16, 2014. The family found a house they want to buy in Cranberry, but an HOA rule does not allow livestock in the community.
Philip G. Pavely | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
Chris and Lauren Miladinovich's pet pig Nola grazes in the park Wednesday, July 16, 2014. The family found a house they want to buy in Cranberry, but an HOA rule does not allow livestock in the community.

Chris Miladinovich emerged from his car with his 43-pound pet pig cradled in his arms.

“She's a household pet who loves us, and we love her,” he said of Nola, a 2-year-old miniature Juliana pig. “She's just like a dog or cat.”

Miladinovich, 30, and his wife Lauren, 32, both of West View, discovered last week that not everyone views pigs — miniature or not — as household pets.

They lost a bid on a Cranberry house because it meant losing Nola, whom they consider to be part of the family, they said.

“It's the pig or bust,” Chris Miladinovich said.

The couple's offer on the house had been accepted July 6. One day later, the Preserve Homeowners Association told the couple that no pigs were allowed in the neighborhood because they are considered to be livestock, Miladinovich said.

“She's so innocent and harmless, but people have kind of a negative connotation of her,” Lauren Miladinovich said.

Ron Weiskircher, a member of the association's board, referred comment to its lawyer, Jeff Myers. He could not be reached for comment.

The couple tried to make a plea with the association that Nola was a pet, not livestock, they said. The Realtor sent an email to the association with photos of Nola dressed up for Christmas and Easter, along with the pig's description.

The couple even started a Facebook page in Nola's honor. With the support of the woman selling the house, they went around the neighborhood with a petition and received 11 signatures from immediate neighbors.

“The definition of livestock is farm animals on a farmstead used for commercial purposes and/or slaughter,” Chris Miladinovich said. “She doesn't fit any of that description. Everyone loves Nola.”

Jerry Andree, township manager, said the rule against pigs is the homeowners association's rule, not the township's.

Rules vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, with some associations being more strict than others, he said.

“Each has different levels of requirements, and this one has very specific standards when it comes to pets,” he said.

In the middle of petitioning, Chris Miladinovich said a member of the association drove up and asked the couple to stop.

They obliged and said they will not pursue further action.

Megan Henney is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7987 or mhenney@tribweb.com.

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