Upstate NY man fights to keep pig as emotional support animal


An Upstate New York man is preventing to keep his pot-bellied pig as an emotional support animal.

WTEN stories Wyverne Flatt is in a authorized battle with the Village of Canajoharie, N.Y., over what defines an emotional support animal. Flatt says his 100-pound pig Ellie, who spends most of her time napping, helps him by way of darkish days.

“She’s always been with me, and I mean she just hangs out… She jumps right up on the couch to watch TV, and she does all this stuff,” he stated. “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.”

Flatt says the pig is registered as an emotional support animal to assist him with anxiousness, however he’s been to court docket 13 occasions over the previous two years as the Montgomery County village has claimed it’s a livestock/farm animal.

The village lately gave him a Dec. 14 deadline to do away with Ellie. Canajoharie Mayor Jeff Baker advised the Albany TV station he couldn’t touch upon a pending court docket case.

This News 10 (WTEN) video nonetheless exhibits Wyverne Flatt along with his emotional support pig Ellie at his house in Canajoharie, N.Y.

The U.S. Transportation Department tightened its guidelines for air journey final winter, saying solely skilled canine might be service animals. Passengers beforehand solely wanted a health care provider’s word saying they wanted the animal for emotional support, and airways suspected the rule was being abused to convey pets on board totally free, together with cats, turtles, birds and pigs.

According to the New York State Attorney General’s Office, the American Disabilities Act additionally particularly limits service animals to canine, however the Fair Housing Act has a broader definition permitting any animal to qualify for emotional support in housing. In 2019, a Western New York household unsuccessfully tried to keep a 200-pound pet pig named Pork Chop by claiming it was an emotional support animal.

Flatt advised the Albany TV station he has notes from his physician, shot data from the vet and all needed paperwork to keep Ellie as an emotional support animal. He stated he’s not giving up, as a result of dropping her can be laborious on the pig, too.

“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,” he stated.

See video and skim extra at