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Halton police help lost pot-bellied pig get home safe

Const. Renee Harnack returns a lost pot-bellied pig to its owner in Burlington, Ont., on June 29, 2017. HANDOUT/Halton Regional Police Service Burlington

A lost pet pig is home safe and sound thanks to a Toronto-area police officer who proved herself handy with a makeshift lasso.

Two Halton regional police officers were called to a residential neighbourhood in Burlington Thursday morning after a man came across a pot-bellied pig wandering in the street.

Sgt. Rhonda Paxton said the man stayed with the pig until she and her partner arrived, keeping an eye on it as it moved off the road and into a yard.

“When we arrived on scene it was eating shrubbery and nosing around in the dirt with its snout,” Paxton said.

Paxton said her partner, Const. Renee Harnack, went to their car, grabbed a strap normally used to restrain to prisoners and fashioned a leash with it.

“She was able to lasso the little pot-bellied pig so she had it secured,” said Paxton.

Harnack said she’s used that trick with dogs in the past, but she had never encountered a loose pig before.

After neighbours told the officers that the pig belongs to a woman who lives in a nearby home, Harnack tried to lead the animal across the road, she said.

“It went a little bit, but it didn’t really want to walk, so I picked it up,” she said. “It was squealing very loud.”

The pig’s owner was alerted by the noise and came outside.

She told the officers her beloved pet pig’s name is Chanel, and said the animal was a year old, Paxton said.

The owner was then able to pick up the pig in a way that didn’t make it squeal — one hand under its bottom and the other under its chest — and carry it home without issue, Paxton said.

“I can say that in my 20 years, a call with a loose pig wandering around is a first,” said Paxton.

“It’s always something different at work,” Harnack added.

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