One family in the Westlake community is mourning the loss of a beloved pet after it got loose and was killed Jan. 30.
According to a news release from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy responded to a Westlake business around 10:15 a.m. for an aggressive pig.
“The animal had bitten one customer, was aggressively pursuing other customers, and were not allowing individuals to enter/exit the business,” the release said.
However, the 2-year-old miniature potbellied pig, named Penny Sue, was a family pet, according to Leslie Pickett, whose son, Jordan, owned the animal. Penny Sue, who weighed about 50 pounds, had escaped from her home on Morewood Road and ended up at the shopping center near Westlake Corner.
“People were feeding her and talking to her,” Pickett said. “She knew the way home. She walks with people there. She’s like the neighborhood dog.”
The sheriff’s office said the deputy and other bystanders tried to corral the animal to keep it from running into traffic on Virginia 122 while also trying to locate its owner.
“During these efforts, the pig continued to show aggressive behavior towards the deputy and the citizens and attempts to contain were unsuccessful,” the release said.
Pickett said it’s likely that Penny Sue panicked and tried to run home instead. “She was headed home in an open field,” she said. “It doesn’t make sense.”
After more than an hour of trying to contain the animal, “the Deputy had to unfortunately put the pig down,” the release said.
Pickett said her son is devastated by the loss of Penny Sue. “He got her as a tiny baby. She went everywhere with him,” she said. “What it’s done to his heart and soul, you can’t fix that.”