Tri-State family forced to give up beloved pet pig due to city ordinance

The family has 10 days to find Romeo Hamlet a new home.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 10:36 PM EDT
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RIPLEY COUNTY, In. (WXIX) - A Milan family has been told they have to get rid of their pet pig, Romeo Hamlet, because of a new municipal ordinance.

The Carter family got the 70-lb. Juliana pig around two months after he was born in late 2020. For the last 14 months, they’ve been everything he’s known.

Steven Carter says Romeo’s unique oinks are just one way he expresses himself.

“Pigs can communicate with 20 different sounds,” Steven said Tuesday. “They’re very emotional animals. They get very attached to people.”

That attachment goes both ways. Romeo has become more than a family pet.

“He would come into the house at evenings. He’d wander around the house, and at about 8:30, 9 o’clock, he’d jump up on the couch and lay between us, and lay there and snooze until it was actual bedtime,” Steven said.

But then someone filed a complaint against Romeo, and Steven is still trying to figure out why.

“He’s not loud at all,” he said. “If anyone knows anything about pigs, they don’t smell. They have no sweat glands, so they’ll have no scent as long as you keep their pen clean.”

Now the family has 10 days to find him a new home.

“Really not sure at this point,” Steven said. “Having such a hard time even imagining.”

Losing Romeo Hamlett will affect more than just the family. In fact, Steven says Romeo has become a bit of a neighborhood mascot.

“A lot of different families like to walk by and come up and talk to Romeo,” he said. “They’ll stop and talk to us. The nursing home at the end of town has a golf cart that they ride residents around in, and they’ll actually pass by sometimes a couple times per day to let the residents see Romeo.”

We reached out to the Milan town officials who say they will have a response in the coming days.

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