Gemma the potbelly pig may lose her happy home in Kingston Township

By Eileen Godin - | April 7th, 2016 6:10 pm

By Eileen Godin

KINGSTON TWP. — A petition to keep Gemma, a pot-bellied pig, in her Back Mountain residential home is gaining attention on social media.

Gemma recently moved into a new home with her family from a location they declined to name, but a 31-year old Kingston Township zoning ordinance that states no pigs, swines or hogs are allowed in residential neighborhoods threatens her residency.

The case is slated to be heard by the Kingston Township Zoning Board at 7:30 p.m. April 14 in the municipal building, Bill Eck, zoning and code officer at Kingston Township, said Thursday.

“We never had an issue like this before,” Eck said. “We have farms with pigs in agriculturally zoned areas.”

Gemma’s owner, Heather Brennan, is raising awareness of her pet’s plight by starting a petition, called “Change The Zoning Laws Concerning Pets,” on The petition has quickly gained support and, as of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, had 636 signatures.

According to information posted by Brennan on the website:

“Gemma is an emotional support pot-bellied pig who has resided in our home since she was born. We moved to Kingston Township and Mr. (Bill) Eck from the zoning office wants to enforce a pig law and remove her from the only family she has known.

“Gemma is attached to her family and doesn’t even realize she is a pig. She lives indoors with her two friends, the household dogs. Gemma is only outside to use the bathroom and then back into her comfy surroundings. Gemma is being lumped into a category of farm pigs even though she is considered a household pet in many other communities.

“Gemma is spayed, sees a vet regularly and has all her vaccines. Despite the fact that she is an emotional support animal and a household pet, Mr. Eck is trying to remove her. Anyone residing in Kingston Township can change this law.”

Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.