Last Update: 8/3/2017 4:27:00 PM
Owner of slain Slatington pet pig irate over Police shooting
The controversy over the Slatington police shooting last month of a stray pot-bellied pig won't end until changes are made, the pet pig's owner said Wednesday.
"It's not going to be over," said Lance Sherer, of the 200 block of Walnut Street in the borough. Oscar, his pig, was shot and killed late July 21 after, police say, it wandered away and acted aggressively.
Sherer, who contends the shooting was unjustified, said he is going to do all he can to prevent more pet killings. He said he will lobby Borough Council to hire an experienced animal control officer, which Slatington hasn't had since 2015.
"This wouldn't have happened if they had the proper people here to handle the situation," Sherer said.
Slatington police Chief David Rachman said Tuesday that one of his officers shot the 100-pound pig in the 300 block of Hill Street because it bit a woman, scared a dog and was charging after the officer.
"I stand by what my officers did," the chief said. "We had to stop the threat. This was something that had to be dealt with at the time."
The pig had wandered about a block southeast of Sherer's house to the home of Charles and Kathleen Williams about 11:30 p.m. July 21 when the animal's erratic behavior brought out police.
Kathleen Williams was bitten by the pig, Rachman said. The bite did not break her skin, he said, but the heavy pig's wild moves appeared dangerous. An officer shot Oscar in the Williams' back yard.
Sherer insists the pig was harmless, and had lived peacefully with four humans and a miniature pinscher, a tiny dog, in his house.
"Oscar didn't have the capability to hurt anybody," he said. "He couldn't even open his mouth to eat an apple. His teeth are only an eighth of an inch long. There's almost nothing to them."
Sherer purchased the pig about 18 months ago in Quakertown. Oscar was nearly 2 years old when he was shot, Sherer said.
He said he was not aware until after the shooting that having a pet pig is illegal in Slatington. He said local police had seen Oscar and did not raise an objection.
Rachman said he checked the borough's computerized police records dating to December 2008, and found no evidence that local police are abusive to pets.
Slatington police handled 571 animal complaints over nine years, the chief said, but Oscar's shooting was the only time an officer shot or used deadly force on a domestic animal.
Sherer said he hopes to bring Borough Council a proposal for an animal control officer this month.