A Gibson County man said he is contemplating taking legal action against a neighbor who shot and killed at least five of his prized pigs. The incident happened Friday in the rural community of Johnson.
Thomas Rutledge said he was at work Friday when something on Facebook caught his attention.
“I saw a Facebook post come across from one of my neighbors showing five to six dead pigs in his yard. When I saw the picture, I noticed the pigs were mine,” Rutledge said.
The neighbor’s Facebook post, which has since been taken down, shows several dead pigs that lay in the neighbor’s yard. The pigs were roughly two months old, Rutledge said.
“Looked out my door and what do I see? [Five] little piggies rooting up my yard again,” the neighbor’s Facebook post said. “I just got my yard fixed from the last time they tore it up. All [five] of them got dropped in thier [sic] tracks. Kill them all.”
Rutledge said the baby pigs must have dug a hole under the fence, which has since been fixed. However, this incident was the first time
“‘I’ve never had an issue with [the neighbor] at all over any animals being loose. His Facebook post seemed to make a reference to having issues with them before but never once has he contacted me,” Rutledge said. “I would rather [the neighbor] call me and give a chance to correct the issue before he took matters into his own hands by killing every one of them.”
Rutledge said the incident was not the result of some long-standing feud. One of the most recent interactions he’s had with the neighbor occurred when the neighbor’s dog was allegedly killing his chickens, Rutledge said.
“[The neighbor’s] dog was over here many times and killed many of my chickens. We didn’t ever pursue shooting his dog,” Rutledge said. “We talked to him and told him what was going on.”
Rutledge said he notified the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office and is now exploring whether to take legal action in small claims court. The neighbor was unavailable for comment. His name is being withheld because he has not been accused of any crime.
Rutledge said the incident has affected him and his family financially and emotionally.
“The pigs range from anywhere between $150 to $350 a piece. My daughter enjoyed having them around. The babies especially, she enjoyed spending time with.,” Rutledge said. “I could understand if they were attacking you or your kids but just rooting up a yard, I don’t think that’s ample grounds to shoot a pig or any animal especially when you have other alternatives.”