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Murrieta Man Fights to Keep Pot-Bellied Pigs

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MURRIETA, Calif. (KTLA) — A Murrieta man and his daughter may have to move over complaints from neighbors about the stench from their four pot-bellied pigs.

Vinny Engen and his daughter Jenna say the pigs are loving animals with distinct personalities.

The fearless foursome — Moo, Hoot, Ribbets and Quack — scarf through scraps and pot-bellied pig food three times a day.And, of course, what goes in must all come out.

“It smells terrible, and the flies… lots and lots of flies,” said neighbor Kathy Russell. “The hotter it gets, the worse it gets.”

“We can’t use our backyard,” her husband, Bill Russell, said. “If we have friends come over and sit down to a barbecue, it gets so disgusting that it’s obnoxious.”

Despite dozens of complaints made to the city about the pigs, the Engens say their pets are part of the family.

In Murrieta, they are legally allowed to have four pigs and any piglets that come along, up to four months old.

Jenna has a life-threatening disease, and says that she uses the pigs almost like therapy animals.

“Sometimes you get down,” she said. “It is almost impossible to be depressed around these guys. You just walk outside and they put a huge smile on your face.”

Vinny said he told his neighbors to call him any time the smell was too bad and he would fix it.

Still though, there was no peace among the neighbors, leaving the Engens worried that they’ll have to find a new place to call home.

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