Woman fights to keep support pig who helps her with depression

Woman fights to keep support pig who helps her with depression

(RNN) – A woman in Florida is fighting authorities to have her support pig recognized as legitimate to avoid eviction.

Stacey Fox in Orange City, FL, has had Hamlet, a 200-pound pig, for two years, WESH reported. She said he helps her with depression and bipolar disorder.

Fox told WESH that Hamlet, who uses a litter box, lies in bed with her when her depression is most difficult.

"One of the biggest ways he helps me out is days that I can't get out of bed, he comes and lays in bed with me because he is an indoor pig," she said. "And he'll just let me pet him all day long."

He is, in many ways, a member of the family.

"He has run of the full house, he plays with the dogs every day, he gets in the pool every single day," Fox told WESH.

But, apparently, a neighbor complained about the pig, and city codes ban pigs from being kept in single-family homes. Fox has been ordered to remove Hamlet from the property.

She has, however, appealed to officials, and argued for her standing to keep Hamlet under the Federal Fair Housing Act.

Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines issued in 2013 note that "persons with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation for any assistance animal" and "while dogs are the most common type of assistance animal, other animals can also be assistance animals."

The city manager told WESH that an ordinance is being drafted to let Fox keep Hamlet.

Fox is hopeful it will settle her case for good.

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