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Westmoreland

Hempfield board says pigs must go

Joe Napsha
| Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, 9:06 p.m.

Carri Fait and her daughter, Morgan Fait, will have to find a new home for the pot-bellied pigs living in their Hempfield house, unless they win an appeal of a decision upholding a zoning officer’s ruling that those animals don’t belong in their Fort Allen neighborhood.

The Hempfield Township Zoning Hearing Board Tuesday unanimously upheld a May citation from Len Dellera, the township zoning officer, that having pigs cavort around the Faits’ Fosterville Road property violates a local ordinance prohibiting animal husbandry on land zoned for residential purposes. The zoning board reached its decision after conducting a hearing on the issue in July.

The Faits’ next move is up in the air, mother and daughter said following the board’s decision.They will have 30 days once they receive the written notice of the ruling, to make a decision on how to respond.

Carri Fait is emphatic in her desire to take the battle to Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas in Greensburg.

“The courthouse is my next move. They’re family pets. They’re not for animal husbandry,” Carri Fait said of their pigs, Lyla and Ivan.

The Faits are not involved in animal husbandry because the pigs are not being raised to be slaughtered for food or for producing other pigs because they have been neutered, Carri Fair said.

“They spend 90 percent of their time in our house,” and they have a fenced-in yard to move around, Carri Fait said.

Fait said other residents have pigs at their homes and have not been cited.

“You should not have to say after three years, 'You have to get rid of your pet,’” Carri Fait said.

She said they recently moved to Fosterville Road from a house off that same road, where there was no problem in keeping the pigs. Sixteen of their neighbors had supported them in their efforts to keep the pigs, Carri Fait said.

Morgan Fait, 21, is not so certain she wants to fight the township in court, after having paid to appeal the zoning officer’s citation.

“I’m deciding between moving and fighting it. I already gave the township $1,000 and it went nowhere,” Morgan Fait said.

Morgan Fait said she researched the township ordinances before getting pigs and she did not see any prohibition against raising pigs as pets.

If the younger Fait does move, she said her new residence will not be in Hempfield.

“They completely turned me off from Hempfield,” Morgan Fait said.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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