Falcon’s Sears family faces fight to keep beloved pet pig Matilda

Dave and Sarah Sears with Jack, Billy and Ruby, Matilda the pig and Betsy the dog. Photo: Jon Hewson
Dave and Sarah Sears with Jack, Billy and Ruby, Matilda the pig and Betsy the dog. Photo: Jon Hewson

A FAMILY of five are preparing to take on the City of Mandurah to keep their pet pig Matilda.

Dave Sears said they had three weeks to find a suitable home for Matilda, because they are not allowed to keep a big pig in residential Falcon.

About two years ago the Sears bought what they thought was a miniature pig.

“But she kept growing and she’s now as big as a Labrador,” he said.

“What can you do?”

City of Mandurah chief executive Mark Newman said council had been working with Mr Sears since May last year to ensure they had adequate time to find a suitable home for Matilda.

“The initial two-week timeframe was generously extended to three months and, nearly a year later, Matilda is yet to be re-homed,” he said.

“Matilda is being kept in an urban residential area, which was in breach of the City’s Local Laws, like many other local governments, which only allow pigs to be kept in rural areas.”

Mr Sears said they would fight to keep Matilda because she is part of the family.

The family take Matilda for a walk every afternoon and she enjoys beach runs.

Dave and Sarah Sears with Jack, Billy and Ruby walking Matilda the pig and Betsy the dog. Picture: Jon Hewson

They live on a block over 1000sqm and Matilda has a pig pen.

“We’ve had no complaints from neighbours and she doesn’t make much noise,” Mr Sears said.

“Everyone loves her.

“She makes us laugh, keeps us entertained and is great company.”

Mr Sears said their family would be devastated if they had to part with Matilda.

Mr Newman said council understood it could be very stressful for any pet owner to be faced with the decision to relocate their pet.

“However it is an important reminder that potential pet owners should contact their local government to check specific requirements for keeping animals, especially farms animals such as pigs,” he said.

“This may result in the City issuing an infringement notice or prosecute the owners if they fail to comply with the notice.”

Mr Sears said they were looking for a sympathetic councillor who would act on their behalf to have the Council Bylaws changed.

Otherwise, they are prepared to fight their case in court, but are nervous at the prospect of $250 per day in fines.

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