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County to put lost boars up for adoption

Under certain circumstances, Prince Edward County has the ability to be an adoption agency, of sorts, for animals in its custody. The county has recently served in this role — and may do so again — with regard to two Black Vietnamese Pot-bellied boars.

The county recently ran notices highlighting its petition to dispose of abandoned agricultural animals.

County Administrator Wade Bartlett explained how the county came to be in possession of boars.

“They were walking around free,” he said. “We received calls from citizens informing us of these pigs.”

He noted the county originally had a total of four that were on the loose.

“Two of them, we located the owners,” Bartlett said. “One owner took his pig back. The other, the owner signed it over to the county, and the county has already adopted that pig out to a citizen.”

Bartlett said the county has no idea where the two remaining boars came from.

“The county canvassed the areas where the pigs were found, asking residents if they owned any pigs that were missing,” he said. “No one claimed these.”

The large one was corralled May 17 by the people at a residence on Five Forks Road in Pamplin. They held it for the county.

“On Monday the 18th the county assumed control of the pig, and the citizens agreed to hold the pig for the county,” he said. “On the 19th the county was informed of the smaller pig. The county captured that pig, and we could not locate the owner. The citizens holding the first pig agreed to also hold the second while the county is going through the legal process.”

Bartlett shared an excerpt of the state code explaining what options the court has in terms of dealing with the boars. If the court determines that the animals have been abandoned or cruelly treated, deprived of adequate care, as defined by state code, or raised as dogs that have been, are, or are intended to be used in dogfighting, in violation of state code, then the court has three different options for what it shall order.

The animals may be sold by a local governing body, if they are not companion animals; disposed of by a local governing body pursuant to a subsection of the state code, whether the animals are companion animals or agricultural animals; or delivered to the person with a right of property in the animals as provided in another subsection of the code.

“In this case if the court declares the animals abandoned, they will become property of the county, and we will dispose of them as allowed by law,” Bartlett said. “We have people interested in gaining custody of these pigs, so it looks like we will be adopting them out.”