A recent incident in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, had police officers and members of the community working together to capture a loose potbelly pig that had been roaming the Hamilton Park neighborhood.
The elusive swine, aptly named Hamilton by the authorities, proved to be quite a challenge to take into custody.
In a news release, Manheim Township Police Department officers humorously acknowledged the unexpected speed of pigs.
“As it turns out, pigs are fast … and elusive.”
According to police, Hamilton had evaded capture for several days, cleverly avoiding the efforts of law enforcement officers, who were more accustomed to dealing with dogs and cats.
The officers responded to numerous calls from concerned neighbors, with the situation taking an interesting turn when a resident reported an “enormous pig” sleeping beneath a trampoline in their backyard on June 15.
Despite the combined 40 years of experience held by three officers and one civilian police aide, their attempts to catch the wily swine proved fruitless.
Recognizing their lack of equipment and expertise in handling livestock, the police reached out to various agencies for assistance. Eventually, the Lancaster Farm Sanctuary, equipped with the necessary “personnel and pig-catching stuff,” offered their support.
While the sanctuary formulated a plan to capture Hamilton, he managed to escape from a fenced-in yard.
A comical foot chase then ensued, with three police officers chasing the pig through the neighborhood. The pursuit came to an end when Hamilton entered a fenced area of a pediatric care facility, prompting some concern about potential mishaps in the play area.
With the assistance of the farm sanctuary’s workers, Hamilton, affectionately renamed Gregory, was finally corralled inside a dog crate and loaded onto a sanctuary van. He was transported to the farm, where he would live out his days in the company of other rescued farm animals.
The Lancaster Farm Sanctuary subsequently provided updates on Gregory’s progress through social media.
In a video released on Instagram, Gregory could be seen exploring his new surroundings, enjoying some delicious carrots and exhibiting signs of increased comfort and contentment.
The sanctuary revealed that Gregory was initially fearful and at times lunged and snapped at people, but eventually showed a positive change in his mood, to the delight of his caregivers.
The pig’s improved well-being was evident as he began walking around, hydrating, stretching and even relieving himself three times.
“He must be feeling so much better. We are so happy for him,” the sanctuary wrote. “This big guy has been all over the news and has captured the hearts of so many people. We can understand why. You are so loved, Gregory!”
The sanctuary expressed gratitude to the Manheim Township Police Department for their cooperation and commended their efforts in apprehending Gregory.
The police, in turn, acknowledged the sanctuary’s crucial role.
“We are much better at catching criminals than we are at catching farm animals, and without Lancaster Farm Sanctuary, we’d probably still be standing in that backyard on Elm Avenue, staring at that sleeping pig, asking, ‘So, now what?’” the department wrote. “Not all heroes wear capes — sometimes, they wear Muck boots.”
Sarah Salluzzo, the executive director of Lancaster Farm Sanctuary, explained that Gregory’s background and previous experiences remained unclear.
While potbelly pigs are typically kept as pets, Gregory — who is estimated to be a few years old — was unneutered, had mange and displayed nervousness around people, living a lifestyle akin to a wild boar.
The sanctuary’s dedicated staff planned to neuter Gregory and provide treatment for his parasites before introducing him to their existing potbelly pig residents.