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Brandermill support for Tucker the pig vastly outnumbered opposition

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CHESTERFIELD, Va. -- Most people had hoped that a Chesterfield family’s fight to keep their beloved house pet Tucker the pig would come to an end on Wednesday, at a Chesterfield Board of Supervisor's meeting.

Almost two years ago, the family acquired their pet, a KuneKune pig they named “Tucker,” which lives inside their home.

Earlier this year CBS 6 told you the Brandermill neighborhood where Tucker lives isn't zoned for livestock. Neighbors were concerned about property values and complained of the pet pig, back in June.

“We got him at seven weeks,” Kim Johnson said. At that point she said he weighed just five pounds, which was just 22 months ago.

Tucker grew in size and the family and neighbors grew to love him, according to Johnson.


The family was heartsick over the news that they might have to give him up -- or move even.

“My 8-year-old son was very upset and crying and what do you mean we have 10 days to get rid of him,” Johnson said.

And one of the Johnson’s neighbors said she loves “Tucker” too.

“He’s very friendly, he actually plays with my chihuahua,”  Kelly Hunter said.

Then the family chose recenlty to register Tucker as an emotional support animal.


Tucker's new registration certificate, protected by regulation, indicates that the neighborhood must make a reasonable accommodation to allow the pig.

"This was a real tough thing to come out with, but we felt we were forced to do so to protect our family," the Johnson's wrote in a statement.  "We always were upfront with most of the reasons we adopted Tucker into our family, but as every family does, we have some other reasons Tucker was a good choice for our family that we wanted to keep private."

With this new title, Tucker will have protection under Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act, the family wrote on their Facebook page. 

Then at the meeting, with national camera crews present, the Board of Supervisors decided to postpone a vote about Tucker the pig until January 14 at 3 p.m.

There will not be another public hearing about the issue, they will just make a decision.

The boardmember Art Warren said he needed more time to think and to learn about pet pigs and livestock.

He also said he didn't want to kick the family out of their home during the holidays, so he felt January 14 would be a good time to make the decision.

Now Tucker's owners said they laid it all out there tonight at the public hearing.

Mark Johnson told the board that that he suffers from an anxiety disorder and Tucker helps him cope.

He said he's glad he won't have to talk about that again since there won't be another public hearing.

But he hopes his words had an impact.

"It's moving forward better than a denial, I wish you got approved I wish it could be over with it but let's see what we can do," there were four people at the meeting who spoke up against allowing Tucker.

One man lives two doors down from the Johnsons and said he didn't like seeing a pig in his neighborhood when he drove past.

There were nearly 20 people who spoke in favor and four who spoke aginst.



    • R

      It’s not up to you. Mind your business.. It’s their pet, let them keep it. . How can you be so heartless and crass? You’re a digusting person.

  • Ms. Richmond

    Can you image how many germs those kids have on their hands. The baby probably put his hand on the pig and in his mouth. So gross.

    • R

      As mentioned before, germs are everywhere. Kids pick their noses, eat dirt, get sick, touch the toilet, eat boogers, sneeze and cough on each other, and probably have other pets like dogs that have a ton of germs too. There is no reason this family can’t keep their pig. Your permission is not needed.

  • informed cynic

    So the woman running a DAYCARE in that area couldn’t keep children bc it went against the covenant but these people will probably be allowed to keep a pig bc the effeminate husband needs it for *emotional support* ridiculous. Must be nice to not have to follow the same rules as everyone else smdh

    • R

      Why don he circumstances have have to your liking ? Stop judging people for superficial reasons. You don’t know anything about the situation or the family so keep your nasty bigote comments to yourself

  • kathy kinsey

    Let the family enjoy their pet. It will hurt no one. About germs-look at your own hands under a microscope. There are germs everywhere.

  • John

    This pig is a clean indoor pet just like your cats and dogs. He is actually less like the average cat allowed to roam and breed, and less like the majority of dogs Chesterfield has, as Tucker cannot bark! This family vets him, keeps him clean, and he lives indoors. As to “Ms Richmond”‘s comment- if they are so filthy- why do you eat them?? (although this breed of pig is bred specifically for pets, not as livestock- Mr. Not So “Wiseman”. ) And yes, companion animals have been proven to be of benefit both emotionally and physically. Worry about your own homes and what is going on in them, Tucker is loved and cared for as any family animal should be!

    • CvilleGuy78

      John, the law is the law. You don’t get to make exceptions to the law because not doing so might hurt someone’s feelings. As for the benefits of companion animals, has such a benefit been shown to be medically necessary for a member of that family? If not, the merits of companion animals are moot. Pig waste is toxic, I would be concerned about how it is disposed of. Furthermore, if this reclassification stands, what would stop other neighbors from buying other livestock like chickens and goats or even a cow and justifying it by citing Tucker and how sad giving them up would make them? Sorry, but an emotional attachment to a pig does not change the fact that it’s livestock.

  • CvilleGuy78

    This is stupid. Pigs are livestock, loving the pig doesn’t change that. What the hell is an “emotional support animal” anyway? They get to reclassify the animal because they’d be sad if they had to get rid of it? Pathetic. Nowhere in any laws is anyone guaranteed a right to never be sad. NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW!!!

    • John

      CVILLEGUY78- I can inform you about what an Emotional Support Animal is, but the best examples are being used by our soldiers coming back from war with PTSD, and they have prevented many of these fine men from committing suicide or harming others. In addition ESAs are protected under Federal laws- both the FHA and the ADA. Mental illness is not something to take lightly.
      This type of pig is not livestock- in other words the family is not using him for profit. This family does not intend on breeding, selling or using him as food or fiber. He is kept indoors as a family pet.

      • CvilleGuy78

        Your point is moot as nobody in that family has been revealed to be suffering a disorder that requires the assistance of an emotional support animal. One cannot classify an animal as an “emotional support animal” if said emotional support is not deemed necessary by a medical or mental health professional. Who’s emotions is the pig supporting? Why do that person’s emotions need support? If those questions cannot be answered in a clear and concise manner, the animal is not eligible for the reclassification from livestock to emotional support animal, and the person attempting to reclassify the animal is committing fraud.

      • CvilleGuy78

        Ok, I just read that the guy says he suffers from an anxiety disorder and that the pig helps. Still, a medical or mental health professional would need to make a determination that the pig is a necessary tool in combating his anxiety disorder. Seems he did just fine before he had the pig, still sounds like fraud to me. I also suffer severe depression and anxiety, diagnosed and well established, that’s why I have no problem calling BS on this family. They just think the world revolves around them and that everyone in it must accommodate them and defy the law for them. To that I say; Boo freakin hoo.

  • PW

    How can one local resident have a permit to have wild animals like fox in her home but a family with a pig has to fight for the right to keep their pet?! Is this the only part of the country that is unaware of pet pigs!?

    • R

      As your an probably tell from the ignorant mean comments, it seems that way. And if it helps someone ,all the more reason to keep it.

  • Jeannette Branch

    People have pet snakes lizards and a pi is not allowed you don’t hear about them getting out terrorizing neighbors and no dog bites. Leave the pig alone

  • Jaime Bain

    It’s a pig. Who cares … If it helps them get over their loss. Good. If someone wants a pig just because – fine. It’s no one’s business. People need to worry about what is going on behind their own doors — not what goes on in others, unless it is endangering someone — people make me sick.

  • Brian and donna

    tucker has taken my heart. I hope this family is not made to get rid of there pet. Tucker is no different than our dogs/cats. Please people have a heart. look at that face in these pictures—-how could you not love Tucker

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