Pig Allowed to Live In Somers Point
Sheldon the Pig can stay in Somers Point, and won't be headed out to pasture anytime soon.
Sheldon has been a point of contention in Somers Point over the last several weeks. He was adopted into the Slaughter family in Somers Point earlier this year - but, his family received a citation by the City of Somers Point in October. The citation was for a violation of a city ordinance, charging the family with keeping the pig in their backyard.
A groundswell of support took off in Somers Point, with flyers appearing on store front windows, supporting the little porker. A Facebook page, Operation Save Our Sheldon, took off too, quickly attracting more than 5,900 fans.
This week, the case was dismissed, and it looks like Sheldon won't be finding himself too close to a barbecue anytime soon.
Here's a press release posted on the Facebook page:
On October 2, 2013, Susannah Morgan Slaughter, a single mother to a 5 year old son and a disabled Air Force veteran, received a citation from the City of Somers Point, charging her with violating a city ordinance for keeping her 10 month old, 32 pound pet pig named Sheldon in her backyard.
Slaughter, 32, took to Facebook and started a page, naming it Operation Save Our Sheldon, and in just less than one month had more than 5,800 members supporting her in her fight against the City.
On November 12, 2013, Slaughter’s attorney, Atlantic City based criminal defense attorney James J. Leonard Jr. appeared in Somers Point Municipal Court and after discussing the matter “at length” with Municipal Prosecutor Christopher Lipari, the Complaint against Ms. Slaughter was administratively dismissed.
“We are obviously very happy with the result,” said Leonard, “Happier than a pig in … mud. I credit both the prosecutor for the sensitive matter in which he approached the case and all of the people on social media who voiced their support for both Morgan and for Sheldon. Their voices were heard loud and clear and I think the end result shows that.”
“I’m very happy that the charge was dropped,” said Ms. Slaughter, “I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong. Everyone who knows Sheldon loves him and we are so grateful for all of the support we have received by the community.”
Slaughter said she received correspondence through Facebook from supporters in faraway places like the UK and Australia.
“It just blew me away, how many people came out and supported us,” said Slaughter, “It was very moving.”
Leonard said the next step for Ms. Slaughter will be to apply for a variance in Somers Point, so that she can be in full compliance with the city’s zoning requirements.
“We don’t expect any further problems from anyone regarding Sheldon The Pig, “ said Leonard, who took the case pro bono after his 8 year old daughter saw a Philadelphia news report about Sheldon and became concerned about what would happen to the pig in the event the Court ruled against its owner.
“She said, ‘Daddy, I want you to do the case and if you win, Sheldon can stay with his family, but if you lose, I want him to come live with us,” said Leonard, “That gave me all of the motivation I needed to keep Sheldon exactly where he is”
Slaughter said she is planning an event in December to thank the community for its support.
“No hot dogs, no pulled pork sandwiches and no ham,” joked Slaughter, “But maybe I will allow pigs in a blanket, we’ll see.”