Animal Welfare

Dallas County Would Like to Sell You a Pot-Bellied Pig

When Dallas County commissioners meet on Tuesday, they will decide whether to part with a rather unusual piece of county property: a black, 75-pound pot-bellied pig.

The swine, identified only by his serial number, 12-167125, is being kept at the Kennedy Livestock Center outside Hutchins, where the county stables stray horses, cows, donkeys and other farm animals abandoned by or seized from their owners. No word on how he made it onto the commissioners' agenda, but one assumes that unclaimed animals become surplus property that can be auctioned off.

Bidding for the pig starts at $15 and ends on Valentine's Day, in case you're still looking for a gift. The auction materials give no details on his background other than to say he's "in good condition" and does not come with any warranties.

We have a call into the livestock center to see who this pig is, where he came from, if he has a name and how much he might dress out at. In the meantime, we'll invent a back story.

His name's Elvis and he was born into a life of captivity, destined to be as brief as it was colorless. All he knew was a 6-by-5-foot cage and a constant supply of tasteless corn slurry. It was a chill January day that he was released from his tiny cage for the first time in what seemed like ages. He was being led out to slaughter, though he didn't know that, nor did he know that the blood of his porcine brothers had turned a Trinity River tributary an unsettling crimson color.

It was then that his savior appeared: a nattily dressed gentleman with the bearing of a preacher who for some reason peppered his talk with exhortations to wear one's pants at the proper level. He had come to talk about the crimson water but, in the ensuing confusion, Elvis made his escape.

For days he wandered through the brush along the Trinity, snacking on the discarded remains of cheeseburgers washed down by the dregs from ubiquitous bottles of malt liquor. Soon, he was skipping the cheeseburgers entirely and going just for the malt liquor until he was nearly stabbed by a homeless man who, though he appeared to be unconscious, roused himself when Elvis lunged for his beverage.

So Elvis sobered up and eventually found his way to Paul Stroud, the Dallas County sheriff's deputy who cares for a scattering of impounded horses, cows, and other livestock.

They developed a bond, but there's only so much room at the Kennedy Livestock Center, and the county gets tired of paying hundreds of dollars per year to keep him. And so, with regret, they part, only to be reunited in three months when Stroud orders a BLT.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson