Monday, September 10, 2007

Sailor's Pig Forced Out Of Home

Master Chief Petty Officer Barry Fletcher, who had to leave his Vietna­mese pot-bellied pig behind for duty in Iraq, didn't know the 150-pound Alexis would be forced out of Mobile. His daughter, Jacqueline Fletcher, 24, was caring for Alexis at her dad's home un­til a neighbor's complaint brought a city order to re­move the pet. Mobile Animal Control di­rector Bill Fassbender told Fletcher that swine cannot be kept within the city limits of Mo­bile. She said Alexis had been living there for the past five years. "I pleaded with him to please let the pig stay here until my dad gets home in about two months, but he wouldn't budge," Fletcher told the Press-Register for a story Friday. "I told him my dad is in Iraq, fighting for our country." Fletcher said Alexis was a gift to her father from his Naval Construction Battal­ion unit based in Gulfport, Miss., when he was promoted five years ago.
Alexis, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig.
Alexis is "smart, clean, af­fectionate, quieter than a dog, and has gorgeous blue eyes," she said. Fassbender said Fletcher did ask him for an extension until her dad gets home from Iraq but he does not have au­thority to grant it. He also said he had not had a complaint about a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig in four or five years. Prior to that, when the pig was a pop­ular pet, there were many complaints, particularly when the pig got loose, he said. So Alexis has moved out of the city. Thomas Schellinger, who lives in west Mobile County, said he adopted Alexis and that she is making a great pet. "I can sit beside her and rub her belly," he said. Schellinger said he also has goats, chickens and "a vicious attack duck," calling Alexis "a good addition to the team. I think she'll be happy here."

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