CANAJOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Over the years, we’ve become used to seeing dogs work as service animals, but other animals have been more controversial. The Village of the Canajoharie is waging over who gets to define what is an emotional support animal.
Wyverne Flatt would do anything for his pot-bellied pig.
“She’s always been with me, and I mean she just hangs out,” said Flatt.
Ellie is a 100-pound pig. She is always looking for her next treat and a place to snuggle.
“She jumps right up on the couch to watch TV, and she does all this stuff,” he said.
To Flatt, Ellie is his emotional support animal who gets him through the dark days.
“I went through a tough divorce, and I had family members pass away. When I come home from work you know she is always ready to hang out and she will sit right there with you,” said he.
But Ellie, who spends most of her time taking naps, finds herself in the middle of a legal battle. The Village of Canajoharie believes the pig doesn’t belong in their community.
“She is a companion, and she’s a registered emotional animal. I have anxiety. It’s a real thing. I got letters from my doctor, and they still won’t drop this thing,” said Flatt.
Over the past two years, Flatt has been to court 13 times as he’s been told to get rid of Ellie. The Village claims its a livestock/farm animal and has given him a deadline of December 14 to move Ellie out of the village.
“I have gotten shot records from the vet, notes from the doctor, and all the paperwork. I’ve done everything they asked me to do, and we just keep going to court” said Flatt.
NEWS10 reached out the Village, and Mayor Jeff Baker says the court case is still pending. He could not comment. Flatt says he is going to keep fighting for Ellie until pigs fly.
“Her going away from me would be just as detrimental for her as it would be for me. She would be very depressed. If I thought this was anyway better for her, I would consider it, but it’s not,” said Flatt.